Newly announced Mercedes-Benz EQ driver, Nyck de Vries, will test the Toyota LMP1 car at the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) test in December.
For the test, which will take place on the 15th of December at the Bahrain International Circuit, the WEC Promoters and Organisers have selected four young drivers as ‘rookies’ for the test. The drivers were selected as they had shown exemplary performance, race skills and commitment, and will get to drive a minimum of 30 laps in one of the class champion cars from last season.
De Vries, who secured his maiden Formula 2 Championship in Sochi last weekend and was confirmed as a Mercedes-Benz EQ driver in Formula E in September, currently races in the LMP2 class for Racing Team Nederland. His first taste of WEC racing came in Silverstone last year and he continued with the team for the remainder of the 2018/2019 Super Season.
The young Dutchman will have the chance to drive Toyota Gazoo Racing’s championship winning Toyota TS050 Hybrid, and experience the 1000+ bhp that the LMP1 class offers. Relaying news of the test on Twitter, the Toyota team welcomed their rookie saying “We’re looking forward to working with you Nyck!”.
Joining de Vries as rookies in Bahrain will be Mikkel Jensen driving the LMP2 championship winning Signatech Alpine A470-Gibson, Job van Uitert behind the wheel of the Porsche 911 RSR-19 which won the World GTE title for the Porsche GT Team, and the last of the chosen four, Vincent Abril who will test Team Project 1’s Porsche 911 RSR which won them the LMGTE Am title.
The President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, Pierre Fillon, congratulated each of the rookies on being chosen and hopes the test will allow them to display their talents to the top teams. “The ACO, through the World Endurance Championship and our continental series in Europe and Asia, has a strong history in encouraging and promoting young talent, and we congratulate Nyck, Mikkel, Job and Vincent for being selected for this rookie test.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity for these up and coming young drivers to show off their skill, determination and professionalism to teams representing some of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers, Toyota, Porsche and Alpine. We are happy to be able to open doors for these four drivers and now they have to go through them in the best way possible!”
Gérard Neveu, CEO of the World Endurance Championship, reminded the new rookies of just how important this test could be for them. “It has been very rewarding to see the progress of our ‘rookies’ from previous years, and the perfect example of this is Thomas Laurent, now a Toyota Gazoo Racing reserve driver after first testing the LMP1 car in Bahrain in December 2017.”
“Endurance racing offers long and successful racing careers for those that choose it, as has been demonstrated by the presence of so many top names in the WEC.”