TOYOTA GAZOO Racing completed a busy and interesting test session at the Bahrain International Circuit as the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season officially concluded.
Following its victory in the Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday, its fifth of the season, the team returned to the Bahrain International Circuit to participate in the annual WEC rookie test.
Regular TS050 HYBRID drivers Mike Conway and Sébastien Buemi were joined at the test by two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso and rising endurance star Thomas Laurent.
The rookie test represented the perfect opportunity for Fernando, who is interested by Le Mans as well as endurance racing in general, to drive a state-of-the-art hybrid LMP1 car. He completed a total of 113 laps in the #8 TS050 HYBRID, a total of 611km.
Thomas, 19, joined the test as a reward for his impressive performances in LMP2 this season, which included a second-place finish at the Le Mans 24 Hours. He completed 31 laps in the#7 TS050 HYBRID in the morning session.
Sébastien’s driving today was limited to a 10-lap run in the morning but Mike had a busy afternoon session, taking advantage of the hot conditions to complete various tyre tests, completing 64 laps.
Fernando Alonso: “It was a great day. Testing an LMP1 car is always a nice thing for any racing driver because these cars are amazing to drive. They are very consistent throughout a stint which is a positive thing. I have wanted to test a car like this for a long time now and today I could achieve that so I am happy.”
Thomas Laurent: “I really enjoyed it today. It was my first time in an LMP1 car and it is the best car I have driven in my career. The downforce, the hybrid boost, the braking; it was all very impressive. I would love to drive a car like this again. Big thanks to TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. The team welcomed me really well. All the mechanics, engineers and management were very friendly, which I really appreciate.”