Newly crowned Super GT champion and Toyota development driver Kenta Yamashita is set for his LMP1 debut in next month’s Bahrain Rookie Test.
Sportscar365 has learned that the 24-year-old Japanese driver will be confirmed in taking part in the Dec. 15 test at the wheel of a Toyota TS050 Hybrid.
Yamashita is set to join F2 champion Nyck de Vries, who was selected by the FIA World Endurance Championship as part of its crop of nominated rookies, in the single-day test on the day after the 8 Hours of Bahrain.
He joined Toyota’s ‘WEC Challenge Program’ this year and has been placed in High Class Racing’s Oreca 07 Gibson in the WEC this season as part the new initiative from the Japanese manufacturer.
The 2016 Japanese F3 champion stepped up to Super Formula the following year before making his GT500 debut in 2018 with Lexus Team WedsSport Bandoh before going onto win the title alongside Kazuya Oshima at Lexus Team LeMans Wako’s.
When asked about Yamashita’s participation in the test, Toyota’s Pascal Vasselon told Sportscar365 there’s a “very good chance” that he will drive although would not outright confirm it.
“We still have a few weeks to work on our program,” he said.
Yamashita has been touted as one of Toyota’s next-generation drivers who will likely be part of the manufacturer’s Hypercar program, which is set to debut in the 2020-21 WEC season.