A week from Sunday, on Nov. 19, the FIA World Endurance Championship will hold its annual postseason rookie test at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain, a day after the series’ season finale.
Confirmed rookies to test so far include Thomas Laurent in LMP1 (Toyota), Maheveer Raghunathan (G-Drive Racing), Konstantin Tereshchenko (TDS Racing), and Gabriel Aubry (Signatech Alpine Matmut) in LMP2 and Ishikawa Motoaki (AF Corse) in GTE-Pro.
Plenty more TBA slots are listed among the 12 cars, with the following slots still to be determined depending on the outcome of the 2017 World Series Formula V8 3.5 season finale, which takes place as a support to FIA WEC at Bahrain:
- Champion driver in LMP1 Porsche 919 Hybrid (Pietro Fittipaldi leads that series now by 10 points)
- 2nd place driver in LMP2 second-place finishing team (Vaillante Rebellion, G-Drive or Jackie Chan DC Racing, and current second place driver is Matevos Isaakyan)
- 3rd place driver in GTE-Pro championship team (AF Corse, Porsche or Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK, and current third place driver is Egor Orudzhev by six points over Alfonso Celis Jr.)
Two other drivers are linked to this test as well, at different ends of the open-wheel experience spectrum.
Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has been linked to a Toyota seat for this test, with DailySportscar posting on Tuesday that Alonso had been to the team’s Cologne, Germany base for a seat fitting. Other reports have surfaced that Alonso is close to the test, as well.
Quite by contrast, Mazda Road to Indy race-winning veteran Garett Grist will test for Jackie Chan DC Racing. The young Canadian was the lead pro in BAR1 Motorsports’ PC class victory in that class’ finale at Motul Petit Le Mans and is exploring a full-time switch to sports car racing after dabbling in it this year.