A provisional entry list for the official WEC Rookie Test in Bahrain has been released today. It features 12 cars for the five available hours of track time at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 19 November.
Within the entry is Thomas Laurent, who was previously confirmed with Toyota Gazoo Racing; he will be joined by Mike Conway. In the test Laurent will complete a minimum of 30 laps in the #7 TS050. In Porsche’s available 919 Hybrid meanwhile, the winner of the 2017 World Series FV8 championship won’t be known until the morning before the test in Bahrain.
That goes for the second and third placed drivers in the V8 title race, who will in turn be handed either an LMP2 or GTE drive depending on their position.
The cars for the V8 drivers aren’t known either. The team that wins the GTE Pro championship (whether that is AF Corse, Porsche GT Team or Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team UK) must provide a car for the third placed driver. Equally, whichever team wins the LMP2 championship (Vaillante Rebellion, Jackie Chan DC Racing or Signatech Alpine Matmut) will test the second placed driver from the single seater series.
As well as some more well-known WEC names (including Olivier Beretta in an AF Corse Ferrari), Mahaveer Raghunathan from India will test with G-Drive Racing, Konstantin Tereshchenko from Russia will drive TDS Racing’s ORECA 07, and Frenchman Gabriel Aubry will complete laps in the Signatech Alpine A470.
In LMGTE, AF Corse will welcome Ishikawa Motoaki from Japan to test a Ferrari 488 GTE, building on his previous experience racing with the team in the Blancpain GT series. That raises the potential for Motoaki to be involved with a currently mysterious additional GTE Am effort expected from the AF Corse/Spirit of Race camp. AF Corse boss Amato Ferrari explained to DSC at Shanghai that he hopes to announce its proposed GTE Am entries at Bahrain.
More drivers will be announced closer to the date of the test, one of which is expected to be F1 star Fernando Alonso, after DSC exclusively announced his seat fitting with TMG, yesterday.