WEC

Toyota adds Laurent and Yamashita to Bahrain test line-up

Thomas Laurent and Kenta Yamashita have been added to Toyota's list of driver for the Bahrain rookie test in December.

The drivers join the previously confirmed Nyck de Vries and will be testing the Toyota TS050 Hybrid on the Sunday after the Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain. While Laurent already has previous experience in the TS050 from a test in 2017, De Vries and Yamashita are new to the car and will undergo seat fitting and a simulator session at the Toyota factory in Cologne before the test.

Laurent is Toyota's reserve driver in the WEC and currently races for Signatech Alpine Elf in the LMP2 class after spending time with Rebellion Racing during the Super Season.

Yamashita, a Toyota protege, is the newly-crowned SUPER GT champion and is currently in his debut season in the WEC, driving for High Class Racing's LMP2 squad.

“I’m delighted to have been selected by Toyota Gazoo Racing to test its TS050 HYBRID during its final season of competition. It’s a global legend in terms of its performance and achievements,” said Yamashita. "After three FIA WEC races with High Class Racing this year I have learned a lot about the car and the challenge of WEC. This test in Bahrain will help me develop my skills and gain valuable experience."

Hisatake Murata, Toyota Gazoo Racing's team president, added: “We are looking forward to seeing Thomas drive the TS050 HYBRID again and it's always interesting to have such promising young drivers like Kenta and Nyck experience a hybrid LMP1 car for the first time.

The rookie test is a great opportunity for us to give this chance to two drivers who very much deserve an opportunity to test an LMP1 car at this stage in their careers. Of course, we know Thomas well and it will be interesting to get his input on how the TS050 HYBRID has evolved since he last drove it at the Prologue.”