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Lapierre Set for Return to Toyota; Dumas in at Signatech Alpine
- Updated: March 20, 2017
Nico Lapierre is poised for a return to Toyota in the manufacturer’s third LMP1 entry for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with Romain Dumas joining Signatech Alpine as the Frenchman’s replacement for two FIA World Endurance Championship races. (En Français)
French publication Auto Hebdo reports that Lapierre will join Stephane Sarrazin and a still to-be-announced driver in the third Toyota TS050 Hybrid for the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans.
While Toyota Gazoo Racing has yet to officially confirm the deal, it would mark Lapierre’s return to the Japanese manufacturer after being let go by the team in 2014 due to an accident-filled first half of the season.
He remained under contract with Toyota in 2015, although did not take part in any races in the LMP1 contender.
Dumas, meanwhile, would replace Lapierre in Signatech Alpine’s LMP2 lineup for the two races, likely joining 2016 LMP2 World Champion Gustavo Menezes, who has been upgraded from Silver to Gold driver rating, and new recruit Matt Rao.
Both Menezes and Rao have also yet to officially be confirmed in the team’s Alpine A470 Gibson, although an announcement is expected this week.
The identity of Toyota’s final driver for its third car, meanwhile, is still unknown, although Toyota Young Driver Ryo Hirakawa, who starred in his rookie season of LMP2 with Thiriet by TDS Racing last year, has been linked to the seat.