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Hirakawa Gets Second Toyota GR010 Hybrid Test

Toyota confirms second LMH test for Ryo Hirakawa at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya…

Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing

Super GT and Super Formula ace Ryo Hirakawa has been given a second opportunity to test the Toyota GR010 Hybrid at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya next month.

Toyota Gazoo Racing stated on Wednesday that the 27-year-old Japanese driver will get behind the wheel of the manufacturer’s FIA World Endurance Championship Le Mans Hypercar for a session on Sep. 22-24.

Hirakawa previously joined Toyota’s full-season WEC drivers for an endurance test at Portimao in June, as part of the team’s preparations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The 2017 Super GT champion appears to have made a positive impression on his GR010 Hybrid debut, with double Le Mans winner Brendon Hartley later telling Sportscar365 that he “gave good feedback, did a good job and didn’t make any mistakes.”

Toyota’s WEC team director Rob Leupen said that the European Le Mans Series race winner could “challenge in the longer term” for a future race seat with the manufacturer.

A statement from Toyota announcing Hirakawa’s test in Spain indicated that the opportunity forms “part of TGR’s commitment to developing young drivers for the future.”

Hirakawa also previously tested the Toyota LMP1 machinery. He is currently seventh in the Super GT standings, having finished runner-up in the series last year.

Unlike the Portimao test, which forced Hirakawa to miss a clashing Super Formula round, the Barcelona session does not conflict with either of his current racing commitments.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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