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Toyota Confirms Laurent, Yamashita for Bahrain Test

Toyota picks Laurent, Yamashita for FIA World Endurance Championship test in Bahrain…

Photo: Toyota

Toyota Gazoo Racing has confirmed that Thomas Laurent and Kenta Yamashita will drive the Japanese manufacturer’s LMP1 car in next month’s Bahrain rookie test.

As reported by Sportscar365 this week, recently-crowned Super GT champion Yamashita will turn his first laps in an LMP1 car during the one-day event on Dec. 15.

The 24-year-old is currently in the early stages of his maiden FIA World Endurance Championship campaign with High Class Racing in the LMP2 ranks.

Laurent, meanwhile, is a new addition to Toyota’s 2019 Bahrain test lineup that also includes FIA Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries, who was selected by the series.

Laurent, who is the team’s lead reserve driver, was not originally slated to get behind the wheel of the Toyota TS050 Hybrid but has been added to the driving roster for his second Bahrain outing after testing in 2017.

“We are looking forward to seeing Thomas drive the TS050 Hybrid again and it’s always interesting to have such promising young drivers like Kenta and Nyck experience a hybrid LMP1 car for the first time,” said team president Hisatake Murata.

“The rookie test is a great opportunity for us to give this chance to two drivers who very much deserve an opportunity to test an LMP1 car at this stage in their careers.

“Of course, we know Thomas well and it will be interesting to get his input on how the TS050 Hybrid has evolved since he last drove it at the Prologue.”

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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