Seven-time FIA World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier is one of a number of drivers already confirmed for the post-season FIA WEC Rookie Test at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Ogier will drive a Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 HYBRID Le Mans Hypercar during the five hours of track time available to teams on Sunday November 7th for what will be his first taste of top-class prototype driving and first appearance during an FIA WEC session.
To prepare for the Rookie Test, the Frenchman — who competes for Toyota in WRC — has spent time in Toyota’s cutting-edge race simulator at the TGR headquarters in Cologne, Germany.
“I’m happy to be driving the GR010 HYBRID Hypercar on track for the first time in the official WEC Rookie Test in Bahrain,” said Ogier. “The simulator session went well; it was nice to work with the team and discover the GR010 HYBRID for the first time. I could already feel that the Hypercar is very different to the TS050 HYBRID which I drove on the simulator last year.
“As everyone knows, it’s a dream of mine to compete in endurance racing in the future and the test in Bahrain is important to learn more about the car and about my own level. It’s a big challenge for me and I’m working hard to be ready for Bahrain, but I’m really looking forward to it.”
There is no news on whether or not this test is part of a plan for Ogier to compete with Toyota in the FIA WEC in the future, though RACER believes that he came extremely close to an LMP2 drive at the Le Mans 24 Hours in recent years.
Also likely to drive with Toyota is another Frenchman, Charles Milesi, who will be confirmed at Toyota should it wrap up the manufacturer’s title this weekend. In 2021, Milesi has been competing with Belgian LMP2 squad Team WRT and is currently locked in the class title battle ahead of the two final races.
In GTE Pro, meanwhile, German driver Laurents Horr will test the winning car from the category, either a Ferrari 488 or Porsche 911. The 24-year-old has been competing in the ELMS with DKR Engineering, and won the Michelin Le Mans Cup LMP3 class in 2019 and 2020. Both he and Milesi will be given a minimum of 30 laps aboard their respective machinery as part of their test.
In addition, Richard Mille Racing Team has revealed that British female drivers Jamie Chadwick and Alice Powell will be in attendance to drive its ORECA 07. Chadwick and Powell both compete in the W Series, with Chadwick heading to the Middle East fresh from winning the 2021 title. French driver Lilou Wadoux (20), who recently finished third in the Alpine Elf Europa Cup, will also test the team’s ORECA.
The full entry list for the Rookie Test is expected to be revealed in the coming days.