Reigning Daytona and Sebring champion Pipo Derani is targeting further LMP1 tests after completing a successful first run with the Toyota Gazoo Racing team.
The Brazilian impressed the team after half a day’s testing in Bahrain last Sunday, clocking in a best time of 1m44.292s during his 32 laps.
The 23 year-old, who was chosen by the FIA WEC and ACO to test with Toyota in Bahrain at the ‘Rookie Test’, believes that future opportunities in LMP1 could be possible.
“The test was really good and I felt right at home in the car and with the team straight away,” he told Motorsport.com.
“The Hybrid power boost was obviously the most notable and impressive aspect, but once I was used to this, it really was a car I felt comfortable in.”
A Brazilian driver is yet to win Le Mans and Derani’s ambition is to add the endurance classic trophy to those already attained at Daytona and Sebring.
“The LMP1 market has been complicated a lot by Audi’s withdrawal so you have to be realistic and say that a proper chance for 2017 is difficult,” Derani said.
“However, I now have the knowledge and a little experience and I feel absolutely ready for it. There’s no reason not to deliver a job at the level of the Audi drivers. So, more running in a car is the target.
"It all helps with the quest to get there. I am even more focused now that LMP1 is where I want to be in the future. I am absolutely ready for the task if I get the opportunity.”
Derani, who spent a day at Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Cologne preparing for the test earlier this month, is expected to announce his racing programme shortly.
The Toyota Gazoo Racing LMP team was impressed with Derani, who was given several key tasks throughout his three stint run in Bahrain with the #5 Toyota TS 050 HYBRID.
“We were satisfied with Pipo. He is obviously one of the top quickest LMP2 drivers and we always look and notice who is performing at the top in this class,” Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Deputy Technical Director David Floury told Motorsport.com.
“He fitted in well and everything went fine today. Pipo has great potential and will be one to watch in the coming years.”