One of the four drivers who will take part in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s third, official ‘Rookie Test’ at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 19 November has been announced today. However, the identity of the remaining three drivers won’t be known until less than 24 hours before the start of the test.
The young driver chosen to test the Toyota TS050 HYBRID will be Frenchman Thomas Laurent (19 ) (pictured below), who was selected as having shown exemplary performance, determination and race skills during 2017.
The Jackie Chan DC Racing team member, who made his LMP2 debut at the 6 Hours of Silverstone in April of this year, has so far won three times including a memorable result at the 24 Hours of Le Mans when he and his team mates finished second overall. He has been leading the LMP2 drivers’ championship since the start of the season.
“It was a really amazing moment and one that I really enjoyed” said Laurent after hearing about the test. “t’s a dream for me to drive an LMP1, and especially the Toyota. I was hoping, and pushing myself hard, to be considered as part of this rookie test with the LMP1 hybrids, and big thanks to the Jackie Chan DC Racing team as they’ve done amazing job this year to put me at the forefront. The test in Bahrain is a great opportunity for me. I’m very proud and I would like to thank the ACO and Pierre Fillon, the WEC and Gérard Neveu, as well as Toyota and Pascal Vasselon for enabling me to fulfil this dream”
“I will be going to see Toyota in Cologne, after our Shanghai race, and will spend one day there for simulator training, to prepare an insert for the seat, some physical preparation, and to meet everyone. There are obviously a lot of complicated systems to learn compared to what we have in our LMP2 cars, and I will receive a manual in a few days to start to learn how the TS050 HYBRID works and all its different modes. For sure Oliver [Jarvis] will be able to help thanks to his Audi experience, and I will be asking him a lot of questions in Shanghai!”.
The other three drivers who will be officially part of the WEC Rookie Test in Bahrain all come from World Series Formula V8 3.5 but, with the drivers’ championship not due to be settled until the final race of the season in Bahrain, their identity won’t be confirmed until less than 24 hours before the test begins.
The eventual winner of the World Series Formula V8 3.5 championship will test the Porsche 919 Hybrid, the driver finishing second in the classification will test and ORECA 07 Gibson with the winner of the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Teams, and the driver finishing third in the classification will test with the team which has won the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Pro Teams.
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