Formula One race winner Robert Kubica will contest the FIA World Endurance Championship with ByKolles Racing, the Austrian-badged team confirmed on Friday, while also naming Oliver Webb to driving duties of the No. 4 ENSO CLM P1/01 NISMO.
The 31-year-old Pole, who debuted with the team at the WEC Rookie test in Bahrain in November, has been competing primarily in the World Rally Championship since injuries suffered in a serious crash in the 2011 Ronde di Andora rally sidelined his promising F1 career.
Kubica said a return to circuit racing in a high-downforce car made LMP1 an appealing option.
“After my time in rally I’ve been looking for something as close to Formula 1 as possible,” Kubica said. “This is exactly what I’ve found in LMP1.
“At the end of last year’s WEC season, I was able to do my first laps behind the wheel of the CLM P1/01. I felt comfortable in the car very quickly and was able to increase my pace accordingly.
“With even more experience I’m sure I will be able to extract more performance. I’m already very much looking forward to the Prologue in Monza and the season start in Silverstone.”
Endurance racing is a new challenge for Kubica, but he said familiarity with many of the circuits on the calendar should help ease the learning curve.
“I’m happy to be a part of it,” he said. “The WEC is racing on circuits that I know well from my time in Formula One.
“The exception is Le Mans. I’ve heard so many good things about the event. I’m very excited about my first start at this 24-Hour race.”
While being the lone non-hybrid on the LMP1 grid this year, the team’s upgraded chassis will be utilizing the same engine that powered the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO LMP1 cars in 2015.
ByKolles’ third driver will be announced at a later date.