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WEC: Kobayashi named Toyota test and reserve driver

Former Toyota Formula 1 driver Kamui Kobayashi has been announced as the manufacturer's test and reserve driver for the upcoming FIA WEC season
Former Toyota Formula 1 driver Kamui Kobayashi has returned to the Japanese manufacturer as its test and reserve driver for the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship, as the team confirms its full driver line-up.

The Japanese driver competed for Toyota in Formula 1 for two Grand Prixs in 2009, including a sixth place finish in Abu Dhabi, and will combine his role with Toyota alongside his campaign in the Super Formula championship contested in his home nation.

Kobayashi, who also acted as Toyota's F1 test driver in 2007 and 2008, spent last season racing in Formula 1 for Caterham until the British-based team went under.

“It's great to be back with Toyota and I am grateful to the team for giving me this chance,” Kobayashi said. “I know many of the team members from my time with Toyota in Formula 1 so this feels like I am coming home.”

The 28-year-old has been getting to grips with the TS040 Hybrid in private tests as the team prepares for the WEC Prologue at the Paul Ricard circuit this week (27-28 March).

“The TS040 HYBRID is impressive,” he said. “The hybrid technology is really advanced. It's another important year for the team so I am looking forward to building a strong working relationship with everyone and contributing to the development of the car.”

The defending manufacturer champions also confirmed Kazuki Nakajima will co-drive with 2014 driver champions Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi in the number one car, after racing in the Toyota sister car last year.

The number two Toyota Hybrid TS040 sees the return of Alexander Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin who will be joined by Mike Conway for the full WEC campaign, as Nicolas Lapierre drops out from the official driver list.

Lapierre is still contracted to Toyota as a test and reserve driver and will compete with KCMG at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Spa rounds of WEC.

Tagged as: Kobayashi , WEC , Toyota Racing

Related Pictures

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