LMP2 WEC star Laurent loses silver-rated status

Jackie Chan DC Racing FIA World Endurance Championship star Thomas Laurent has been re-categorised as a gold-rated driver for 2018.

The 19-year-old was recruited by the Jota-run DC Racing LMP2 squad this season to act as the silver-rated driver in the #38 Oreca line-up alongside Ho-Pin Tung and Oliver Jarvis.

However, the provisional version of the 2018 FIA drivers ratings list, released on Monday, shows that a number of LMP2 drivers have been promoted from silver to gold status.

As well as Laurent, these include Signatech Alpine's Andre Negrao and G-Drive Racing's European Le Mans Series champion Leo Roussel, who are no longer eligible to act as their team's respective silver drivers.

Russian pair Egor Orudzhev and Matevos Isaakyan, who won the Paul Ricard round of the ELMS together in an SMP Racing Dallara, have likewise been upgraded to gold, as well as Le Mans 24 Hours GTE-Am winner Dries Vanthoor.

Elsewhere, Jonathan Adam and Alessandro Pier Guidi – factory GTE drivers for Aston Martin and Ferrari respectively – have been promoted from gold to platinum status.

Going in the opposite direction are nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen and three-time Formula 1 race winner Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who both turned 50 this year.

Laurent relishes "dream" Toyota test

After the disappointment of losing out on the LMP2 title to Rebellion Racing pair Bruno Senna and Julien Canal in Saturday's Bahrain WEC finale, Laurent had the chance to sample a Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 car during the following day's rookie test.

The Frenchman completed 31 laps, setting a best lap of 1m43.273s – two tenths shy of fellow WEC novice Fernando Alonso in the sister car.

"It's a dream come true," said Laurent of his experience in the Toyota. "The car is just amazing, the downforce, the braking. It's just impressive.

"It was just amazing when the boost arrives, you are just like… 'f***, it's so fast! It's just amazing. But when the boost goes off it's like an LMP2.

"It was just a dream. I still can't believe it. I hope I will drive a prototype like that in the future, for sure."

Additional reporting by Frankie Mao

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About this article
Series WEC
Drivers Thomas Laurent
Teams DC Racing , Toyota Racing
Article type Breaking news