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Test Day Entry Sees Interesting Additions To Driver Line-Ups

Blancpain and IndyCar clashes mean some no-shows

The official Test Day entry for the Le Mans 24 Hours sees some interesting tactical additions to the driver line-ups across the board for teams in all classes.

LMP1

Toyota has nominated five drivers apiece for its three TS050 Hybrids to allow the less experienced drivers (Yuji Kunimoto and Jose-Maria Lopez) to benefit from the set-up work undertaken on the other two team cars, and to allow Nico Lapierre to get the support of experienced team-mates in getting through the work list on the #9 he shares with the team’s pair of LM24 rookies.

Marc Lieb, official Reserve Driver for Porsche LMP1 Team, is listed against both 919 Hybrids.

The #4 ByKolles meanwhile, lists an unchanged line-up for the test but is likely to see the addition of ex-Audi LMP1 driver Marco Bonanomi, who tested for the team at Monza last week (below) with James Rossiter now likely to miss out on a Le Mans start after being recalled for a Super GT test on race weekend.

LMP2

No fewer than eight drivers are added to the previously announced three-driver line-ups across the record 25-car LMP2 entry.

IDEC Sport has added Paul-Loup Chatin to bolster the testing efforts of its relatively inexperienced trio in the team’s #28 Ligier. 

LMP3 racer Simon Gachet is rewarded by the #23 Panis Barthez team with some seat time in the LMP2 car.

As previously announced Aussie John Martin is listed against the #26 G-Drive Oreca, but so too is Porsche factory GT driver Laurens Vanthoor!

SMP adds Maurizio Mediani against its debuting #27 Dallara, no sign though of Robert Kubica who tested for the team at Monza last week (below).

Nicky Catsburg – fresh from a weekend at the Nürburgring in which he won a WTCC race and finished second in the N24 – meanwhile is listed against the #28 TDS Racing team’s Oreca, potentially as insurance against the recovery of Matthieu Vaxiviere.

Ex-Eurasia LMP2 driver Nico Pieter de Bruijn is a surprise addition to the #43 Keating Motorsports line-up.

As previously announced Dean Koutsoumidis is added to the test day line-up for Algarve Pro Racing, potentially against a future LMP2 programme for the Aussie Gentleman driver.

GTE Pro

Neither of Chip Ganassi Ford’s US third drivers are listed, Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon both on IndyCar duty in Detroit on Sunday – IMSA drivers racing on Saturday meanwhile, are listed with a rapid transatlantic hop in prospect for eight drivers.

In addition to being listed as fifth driver in the G-Drive Oreca Laurens Vanthoor is listed in both factory GT Porsche 911 RSRs as a fourth driver.

GTE Am

Jonny Cocker is, as confirmed on DSC at Monza, listed as a fourth driver for JMW to assist in the shakedown of its brand new Ferrari 488 GTE

There is still no final driver listed in Proton Competition’s #88 Porsche alongside Nick Yelloly and Stephane Lemeret – Christian Ried, listed to race in the #77 Porsche is also listed for the Test Day in both the #88 and 93 Proton 911.

Finally McLaren factory star Rob Bell is not listed for the test , the Brit on Blancpain GT duties for Strakka Racing at Zolder on Sunday and whilst Alvaro Parente is listed aboard the #60 Clearwater Ferrari he too will be racing in Belgium for the ex-LMP2 outfit and not at Le Mans this weekend.

The full test day entry can be found HERE >>>