Danish LMP2 team High Class Racing has signed Toyota’s Young Driver Programme driver Kenta Yamashita for its maiden FIA World Endurance Championship campaign.
The 24-year-old Japanese racer has a glowing CV from his time spent racing in Japan. Yamashita has a podium to his name in every series he has ever competed in, and already has race wins in both the GT300 and GT500 classes of Super GT.
As is stands, he also currently leads the 2019 Super GT Championship after winning the most recent race in Thailand with Lexus Team LeMans Wako’s.
The 2019/20 season will be his first in the FIA WEC. He will join Danish driver Anders Fjordbach and Mark Patterson in the team’s LMP2 class ORECA 07 Gibson. It is a move which could be significant down the line in WEC terms for Toyota. The Japanese brand said it will “follow Kenta’s progress closely as it evaluates potential future drivers for its WEC programme.”
“I am very excited to be racing in WEC and LMP2 for the first time; thanks to Toyota Gazoo Racing and High Class Racing for this opportunity,” commented Yamashita.
“There are so many legendary circuits on the WEC calendar and plenty of tough competitors in the LMP2 class so it will be a challenging experience. There is a lot for me to learn and I am sure the team will help me a lot. Now I can’t wait for testing to begin so I can prepare myself for an exciting season.”
Yamashita will make his public debut with the team during the pre-season WEC Prologue test next week at Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya.
“We’re very excited to have this young hot property in the car,” High Class’ team manager Peter Utoft said.
“Kenta’s results speak for themselves, as he comes to us with an amazing CV, that features a Japanese Formula 3 title and wins in Super GT. We’re proud to have been chosen by Toyota to help build his career and give him experience at the top level of sportscars.
“He will drive the car for the first time next week. We look forward to seeing what he can do.”