This weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season finale, at the Bahrain International Circuit, will be followed by a one day test for rookie drivers.
The focus of the day will be on the three drivers selected by the WEC to test an LMP1 hybrid – British driver Sam Bird, and New Zealanders Richie Stanaway and Mitch Evans.
LMP2 race winner and current championship leader Sam Bird will drive the Toyota TS040 alongside fellow Briton, 2014 GP3 Champion and GP2 racer Alex Lynn. Toyota works driver Mike Conway will be the installation lap driver and will be on hand to provide support to the two rookie drivers.
Aston Martin Racing’s Richie Stanaway will test the Audi R18 e-tron quattro and benefit from the experience of 2012 World Champion and three times Le Mans winner Benoit Tréluyer, who will also be in the car during the test to provide support.
2015 World Manufacturer Champions Porsche will also be fielding one of their 919s for the third rookie driver selected for the test, Mitch Evans. The 21-year-old former GP3 Champion and current GP2 racer, who also finished on the LMP2 podium at Le Mans with JOTA Sport, will share the Porsche with double Indy 500 Champion and former F1 race winner Juan Pablo Montoya.
The fourth LMP1 entry for the test will be the Team Bykolles CLM-AER with the Austrian team yet to announce any drivers.
There are three cars entered from LMP2, with Signatech Alpine testing FIA European F3 racer Matthew Rao alongside 2014 ELMS Champion and 2015 WEC race winner Paul Loup Chatin.
Strakka Racing are testing two young hopefuls, Scotland’s Lewis Williamson, the winner of the prestigious McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year in 2010, and 23-year-old Cypriot racer Tio Ellinas, who is currently racing with the British team in Formula Renault 3.5.
Russian team AF Racing will be the third team to field an LMP2 car at the test, with Columbian GP2 Racer Julian Leal Covelli and Mexican Memo Rojas, three time winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona, testing the team’s Nissan powered BR01.
Porsche and Aston Martin will be fielding two cars each at the test with Porsche Team Manthey running both of their 911s. Newly crowned Porsche Supercup Champion Philipp Eng from Salzburg will be in the #91 911 RSR, with fellow Austrian Richard Lietz running some installation laps and providing some support, and 2015 Spa24 race winner Nick Catsburg will be in the no92 Porsche, with regular driver Patrick Pilet supporting the Dutch driver.
The #99 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 will have a total of nine drivers during the two sessions as the Aston Martin Evolution Academy young drivers get a chance to drive a LMGTE Pro spec GT car for the first time. The driver line up will include reigning British GT4 champions Ross Gunn and Jamie Chadwick, British GT drivers Jody Fannin and Dan Lloyd and Devon Modell, who competes in the 24H Series.
The second Aston Martin Vantage will be driven by Darren Turner, Jonathan Adam and Marco Sørensen.