One of the big storylines of the upcoming FIA WEC weekend at Silverstone comes in the LMP2 class, where ex-Peugeot and Toyota LMP1 driver Anthony Davidson will rejoin the championship and make his LMP2 debut with American-flagged team DragonSpeed.
The 39-year-old missed the first two rounds of the season at Spa and Le Mans due to his restructured contract with the Japanese marque, which saw him step into a reserve and development driver role after Fernando Alonso was confirmed as the full-season driver in his place.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Davidson told RACER. “It’s been strange, but it’s good to be back in the WEC. This deal with DragonSpeed came together pretty late; I had no idea I’d be doing it. But Elton Julian [DragonSpeed team owner] called me after it was announced that that Fernando was in the third No.8 seat, and we agreed for me to join the team.
“I had to chat to Toyota about it, and we came to an agreement for me to do all the races after Le Mans. DragonSpeed is a professional team, very well run, so I’m looking forward to getting to know them.”
Going into this weekend Davidson has yet to drive an LMP2 car, let alone the ORECA 07 Gibson which he will share with Roberto Gonzalez and Pastor Maldonado from this weekend onwards.
“I’ve had no testing, I’ve not even had a sit in one yet,” he said. “I am looking forward to it though, and expecting it to be a challenge. I’ve obviously seen how the current LMP2 cars behave on track, and they look so quick in areas, but at the same time nice to drive. I’m actually looking forward to having less to fiddle with on the steering wheel, to be honest. It’ll be a big change in mindset from driving a hybrid.”
Davidson doesn’t have any experience racing with his new teammates, either. Nevertheless, he’s still confident that they can achieve a strong result on their first weekend as a trio if he can get up to speed quickly.
“I didn’t know Roberto that well going into this weekend, but obviously I know Pastor from the F1 paddock, and he’s already shown how quick he can be this year,” he said.
“It’ll be great, I think we have a really strong line-up here. I’m not focused on the competition, but I know that if we are all pushing to the best of our ability, there’s no reason why we can’t win races. It might take a bit of time for me to get up to speed, but I know this track well.”
Being that this is his first race with the team, and his first in LMP2, he’s completely focused on this weekend. It being his home race means he’s especially eager to perform well.
“I can’t really look past this weekend,” he said. “I just wanted to get back to racing in the WEC. I’m still capable of racing at a high level, and I had no plans to stop racing when my role with Toyota changed. So it’s great to be back. I’m also pleased that I’m able to be at the race at Sebring, because I love that place, that was part of the decision. I won there before with Peugeot and I’d love to take a win there again.
“But this deal came out of nowhere, and I didn’t know it would happen really, so I’m just thankful for that. I’m going to concentrate on this weekend, and this weekend only. And there’s a reason for that, because of a great quote from Gil de Ferran, who said to me once: ‘focus on the present, and the future will take care of itself’.”