BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Jose Maria Lopez is set to miss July’s Formula E double header in New York after prioritizing his new role with Toyota in the FIA World Endurance Championship over other commitments.
Lopez won three straight WTCC titles between 2014 and 2016 with Citroen before moving into Formula E with the French manufacturer’s sub-brand DS and the Virgin Racing team.
Toyota confirmed at the beginning of February that Lopez would be joining its full-season WEC line-up for 2017, replacing Stephane Sarrazin in the No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid for 2017.
Lopez spoke warmly of the opportunity with Toyota, saying that he wants to learn as much as possible during his maiden WEC season, and confirmed that it will be put before all other duties in 2017.
As a result, Lopez is poised to miss the two Formula E races in New York on July 16 while he is at the Nürburgring for the WEC six hour race.
“The only race we’re going to have some problems where there is going to be a clash for the moment if they don’t find a solution is New York and Nürburgring,” Lopez told NBC Sports.
“My priority is Toyota LMP1 this year. I’m going to be racing for sure in the Nürburgring if there is a clash.
“It’s been a dream for me to become an LMP1 driver and race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans especially and the WEC. I’m really looking forward to the first race and first testing.
“My idea is to learn as much as I can and get on a good level with my teammates and get a good season.”