The team has cited 'personal reasons' in regards to why Lapierre is not racing.
TOYOTA Racing will be without driver Nicolas Lapierre for the next round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the Six Hours of Fuji.
Due to personal reasons, a mutual decision has been reached for him to take a break from participating in the #8 TS040 HYBRID he shares with Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi.
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: “Nicolas is taking a break due to his personal circumstances and the team will support him during this period. This was a decision we have taken together. Our driver line-up is close to completion for 2015 and beyond, and Nicolas remains a long-term member of our team.”
Fuji driver lineup
Nicolas will not be replaced in the #8, leaving Anthony and Sébastien to defend their lead in the drivers’ World Championship, which stands at 11 points after four of eight races in 2014.
In the #7 TS040 HYBRID, Kazuki Nakajima returns to his regular spot after missing the last race in Austin due to his Japanese racing programme. That reunites him with fellow two-time Fuji winner Alex Wurz, alongside Stéphane Sarrazin.
The first four races of the season saw the 1,000PS, four-wheel-drive TS040 HYBRID take two victories and start from pole position three times, whilst showing the performance to win at each event.
Going into the Fuji race, TOYOTA Racing is second in the Manufacturers’ World Championship, just 18 points behind Audi.
The team has won both its WEC races at Fuji, although last year’s victory came in monsoon conditions which saw the race red flagged after only a handful of laps behind the safety car.
Fuji is very much the home event for TOYOTA Racing, not just as its only race in Japan but also due to its location just 20km away from the Higashifuji Technical Centre where the TOYOTA HYBRID System - Racing is developed.
A return to the top step of the podium is the target, especially after frustration in Austin last time out saw victory slip away for the #8 in chaotic scenes during a heavy rain shower. The #8 went on to finish third with the #7 sixth.