WEC confirms rookie test drivers for Bahrain

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Following the upcoming close of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season in Bahrain, the WEC and its LMP1 manufacturer partners Audi, Porsche and Toyota will hold the second, official ‘Rookie Test’ to offer up-and-coming drivers the opportunity to show their talents behind the wheel of an LMP1 hybrid car.

The test will take place at the Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 20 November, the day after the 6 hours of Bahrain.

Three drivers have been chosen by the promoter from championships within the ACO’s aegis including the WEC, European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series. They have been selected as having shown the best performance, determination and race skills during 2016.

Each of the prototype manufacturers will test with at least one LMP1 car, and each of the drivers chosen will be given the opportunity to complete at least 30 laps with one manufacturer. The LMP1 manufacturers may also use the time on track to test additional drivers if they wish.

The drivers selected by the promoter are Pipo Derani (23, BRA), Antonio Giovinazzi (22, ITA) and Gustavo Menezes (22, USA).

“Of the many candidates we considered for selection, these three have shown both outstanding performances and great potential which we considered merited the test drives in Bahrain,” explained president of the ACO, Pierre Fillon. “Pipo’s excellent performances for ESM in the USA at the start of the year backed up an impressive 2015 WEC season and some extraordinary podium-gaining feats in 2016. Antonio is relatively new to endurance racing, compared to the other two, but he has shown a talent for it which cannot be ignored and has the potential for a long future with us should he choose it, while Gustavo has been consistently impressive in the Signatech Alpine this season alongside more experienced team mates. We congratulate them on their selection and we wish them every success at the test.”

“The Rookie Test is a fantastic opportunity for these three up-and-coming endurance drivers to test an LMP1 prototype, the most technologically advanced race cars in the world,” added Gérard Neveu, CEO of the World Endurance Championship. “We looked in depth at drivers from within the world of endurance racing before making the selection, and believe that Pipo Derani, Antonio Giovinazzi and Gustavo Menezes fully deserved the opportunity to demonstrate their talent and potential. This Rookie Test will give drivers an added bonus to their season, and forms an important element in the progressive career path available within the endurance family.”

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive portfolio. Prior to joining the company, John worked for leading automotive design website, Car Design News. Currently editor of Engine Technology International, Professional MotorSport World, Professional MotorSport Circuit, and Transmission Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web and social media content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as chairman of the annual Professional MotorSport World Awards.

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