Bird, Stanaway, and Evans score LMP1 tests

Sam Bird, Richie Stanaway, and Mitch Evans are set to have their LMP1 debuts at Bahrain next month.

Bird, Stanaway, and Evans score LMP1 tests
#26 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2: Roman Rusinov, Julien Canal, Sam Bird
#26 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2: Roman Rusinov, Julien Canal, Sam Bird
#26 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2: Roman Rusinov, Julien Canal, Sam Bird
#38 Jota Sport D Gibson 015S-Nissan: Simon Dolan, Mitch Evans, Harry Tincknell
#38 Jota Sport D Gibson 015S-Nissan: Simon Dolan, Mitch Evans, Harry Tincknell
#99 Aston Martin Racing V8 Aston Martin Vantage GTE: Fernando Rees, Alex MacDowall, Richie Stanaway

The trio will drive for Toyota, Audi, and Porsche respectively as part of the FIA World Endurance Championship official ‘rookie test’.

The test, set to take place on Sunday November 22, after the final round of the WEC will see Bird, Stanaway, and Evans complete at least 30 laps.

The LMP1 teams are allowed to test additional drivers as well during the day.

All three drivers have already raced in the WEC this year. Bird currently sits second in the LMP2 category with the G-Drive Racing Team. The former Mercedes F1 test driver has won two rounds of the championship in LMP2 at Silverstone and COTA so far this season.

Richie Stanaway has raced in WEC since 2013, taking one class win and four other podium placings. The 23-year old will get a chance to drive for Audi Sport Team Joest squad in Bahrain, just after he completes his GP2 commitments on the same weekend.

Making it two Kiwis at the rookie test will be Mitch Evans, who impressed with his two LMP2 outings at Spa and Le Mans. The current GP2 racer helped JOTA sport to win the 6 Hours of Spa in May, before finishing second on his Le Mans debut.

Evans is managed by current Porsche LMP1 driver Mark Webber.

“Of the many potential candidates we considered for selection, these three have shown outstanding performances which we considered merited the test drives in Bahrain,” said ACO President Pierre Fillon.

“Sam Bird, Mitch Evans, and Richie Stanaway have all come from GP2, and we respect that Sam has made the full commitment this year to endurance racing. Mitch’s excellent performance at Spa and Le Mans brought him very much to our attention, while Richie has not failed to impress in the Aston Martin. Moving from LMGTE Am to the Pro category, he has demonstrated how it is possible to progress through the categories, just as it is possible for drivers to follow a career path through endurance racing’s different levels. 

“We congratulate them on their selection and we wish them every success at the test.”

Motorsport.com understands that Juan Pablo Montoya is also likely to attend the Bahrain test with Porsche.

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