Thomas Laurent’s return to the LMP2 ranks has been confirmed, with the Frenchman joining Signatech Alpine Elf for the next FIA World Endurance Championship season.
As reported by Sportscar365, Laurent’s new role as Toyota Gazoo Racing’s reserve driver ruled him out of remaining at Rebellion Racing for the 2019-20 campaign.
While he could be drafted in for some WEC races in the Toyota TS050 Hybrids, depending on clashes with the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, Laurent will spend the rest of the season with Signatech Alpine.
He joins Andre Negrao and a to-be-confirmed third driverin the No. 36 Alpine A470 Gibson, a rebadged Oreca 07 Gibson, replacing Nico Lapierre.
Lapierre, meanwhile, is expected to move to Cool Racing, which was confirmed as part of the eight-car LMP2 field when the entry list was announced earlier on Friday.
Pierre Thiriet is expected to remain at the team and fill the third seat alongside Laurent and Negrao, with the team stating that he’s in “pole position” to complete the trio.
“We are very happy to be involved again in the FIA WEC World Championship under the colors of Alpine, with a crew that promises to be efficient and consistent,” said team principal Philippe Sinault.
“The next generation will be Thomas Laurent. We have been following him for a long time since we had allowed him to make his first rounds in LMP2 in 2016.
“The opportunity to work together has come and we are delighted to be able to count on the best French hope of Endurance to be in the same state of mind, the same will and the same lineage that we have built with Nicolas in recent years.
“This choice was obvious to us and Thomas offers us a nice mark of confidence in joining us for the next stage of his career.”