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Yamashita Fastest Rookie in Rain-Affected Bahrain Test

Toyotas go 1-2 in Bahrain Rookie Test, as rain impacts morning session…

Photo: James Moy/Toyota

Kenta Yamashita ended up as the quickest rookie driver in Sunday’s Bahrain Rookie Test, which was impacted by heavy rain.

The Toyota development driver, in his debut in the Japanese manufacturer’s Toyota TS050 Hybrid, posted a best time of 1:44.075 in the afternoon session, which was run in full dry conditions.

It compared to Saturday’s 8 Hours of Bahrain winner Kamui Kobayahi, who ended up the quickest overall time of the five-hour test with a 1:43.264 in the same car.

Yamashita was joined by Toyota Gazoo Racing test and reserve driver Thomas Laurent and WEC-nominated Nyck De Vries, who were second and third quickest, respectively, amongst the rookies.

Formula 2 front-runner Louis Deletraz made his LMP1 debut in Rebellion’s R13 Gibson with a best time of 1:45.217 over the course of the day.

Heavy rains descended upon Bahrain International Circuit around 11 a.m. and washed out the remainder of the morning session, except for an AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE that opted to go out in full wet conditions.

While still declared a wet track in the three-hour long afternoon session, the track quickly dried up, allowing for the majority of the best times to be set.

Mikkel Jensen was the quickest rookie in LMP2, with the BMW factory driver setting a 1:47.224 in the No. 26 G-Drive Racing Aurus 01 Gibson.

The Dane was six-tenths quicker than Harrison Newey, who sampled the TDS Racing-run team’s sister Racing Team Nederland Oreca.

Jensen also turned laps in Signatech Alpine’s LMP2 entry.

Ex-Corvette Racing driver Jan Magnussen, meanwhile, posted the quickest time in the No. 33 High Class Racing, which was running on Michelin tires for the first time ahead of a planned switch for the remainder of the WEC season.

Magnussen turned his first laps in a modern-day prototype as part of preparations for a targeted run in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Danish squad.

GTE-Pro saw Aston Martin Racing junior driver Andrew Watson end up quickest of the rookies ahead of Nicklas Nielsen and Job van Uitert, who were at the wheel of the No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari GTE and No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR, respectively.

American Max Root, meanwhile, was the leading rookie in GTE-Am, thanks to a 2:00.982 lap time in Saturday’s class-winning Porsche.

WEC-nominated rookie Vincent Abril also turned laps in the same car.

Abril, van Uitert, Jensen and De Vries (pictured below) all had designated tests courtesy of the promoter, with teams allowed to evaluate other drivers over Sunday’s running.

A total of 16 of the 31 cars entered in last weekend’s fourth round of the WEC season took part. 

RESULTS: Bahrain Rookie Test

Photo: Adrenal Media/WEC

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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