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Laurent Added to Toyota LMP1 Lineup for Prologue

Laurent to test Toyota LMP1 at Prologue; several other driver lineup updates on entry list…

Photo: MPS Agency

Toyota Gazoo Racing reserve driver Thomas Laurent will get behind the wheel of the manufacturer’s LMP1 car in next week’s FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue.

The 21-year-old has been added to Toyota’s two-car entry for the official pre-season test, which is being held at Circuit de Catalunya for the first time on July 23-24.

Laurent is nominated to drive the No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid with full-season drivers Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi.

It will mark his second appearance in the Toyota since signing on as the manufacturer’s official reserve two months ago, and his first public run since then after completing a private three-day test with Conway and Brendon Hartley at Paul Ricard last week.

Laurent, who first sampled the TS050 as a teenager in 2017, is also set to turn laps in the No. 36 Oreca-based Signatech Alpine Elf A470 Gibson, which he is racing next season.

Several other driver updates have been made to the 30-car Prologue entry list.

Reigning Blancpain GT World Challenge America champion Miguel Molina will share the No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo with Davide Rigon.

Molina is set to test in the driver slot previously taken up by Sam Bird, although Ferrari has yet to announce its factory GTE-Pro driver lineups for next season.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Will Stevens will join Gabriel Aubry and Ho-Pin Tung in testing the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing LMP2-class Oreca 07 Gibson.

Stevens has already raced the Jota Sport-run car having been added to the DC Racing lineup for the Sebring and Spa rounds of the 2018-19 campaign.

Extra drivers have also been placed in the pair of new-generation Aston Martin Vantage GTEs that will be running with Am-class customers for the first time.

Aston works asset Jonny Adam will test the No. 90 TF Sport car, while Darren Turner, Ross Gunn, Mathias Lauda and Matthieu Vaxiviere have all been added to the No. 98 AMR entry alongside the car’s owner Paul Dalla Lana.

Reigning GTE-Am drivers’ champions Egidio Perfetti and Patrick Lindsey are nominated to drive different Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSRs, with the German squad expanding to a two-car effort for its sophomore season.

Perfetti will share the wheel of the No. 56 car with David Heinemeier Hansson, who is also driving for Project 1 in this weekend’s Barcelona European Le Mans Series race.

Blancpain GT Series regulars Andrew Watson and Nico Bastian – neither of whom have raced in WEC before – will test the No. 86 Gulf Racing Porsche with Mike Wainwright.

British national series racer Charlie Hollings is in the No. 62 Red River Sport Ferrari 488 GTE, while Thomas Preining swaps into the No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche to replace fellow factory Young Professional Matteo Cairoli.

Further updates to the entry list are expected, with several TBA slots – including all six for Rebellion Racing in LMP1 – still to be filled. 

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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