Ferrari test driver Antonio Gionvinazzi will partner Timo Bernhard at the Tequila Patron ESM squad for Petit Le Mans in October.

The pair have been called up to fill in for Olivier Pla and Nico Lapierre who are on World Endurance Championship duty at the Fuji 6 Hours which had a date shift earlier this year to avoid clashing with Formula 1.

But the move has directly clashed with the IMSA WeatherTech Championship finale at Road Atlanta which has necessitated the driver switches.

Giovinazzi, Ferrari junior and current Sauber F1 reserve driver, has completed a truncated 2018 of driving duties with several free practice outings for the Swiss squad in F1 along with his Le Mans 24 Hours debut last June. The Italian driver joined AF Corse Ferrari alongside Toni Vilander and Pipo Derani with the trio taking fifth place in the GTE-Pro class.

“Taking part in the 10 hours of Road Atlanta is a big challenge for me,” Giovinazzi said. “It is one of the most important endurance races in the world and I am very excited to be part of this winning team with a strong driver line-up.”

Two-time WEC and Le Mans 24 Hour champion Bernhard has also been called up by the ESM squad for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech finale with the pair teaming up with regular drivers Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel, Johannes van Overbeek and Derani in the team’s pair of Nissan Onroak DPi challengers. The final driver line-up for each car will be confirmed at a later date.

ESM claimed victory at Petit Le Mans last year when Sharp and Dalziel were joined by Brendon Hartley and team owner Sharp is eager to see the squad defend its title this year with the added boost of Giovinazzi and Bernhard.

“Each team member of Tequila Patron ESM is super excited to welcome Timo and Antonio to our effort for Petit,” Sharp said. “Both have deep experience, and fantastic speed race craft. I can’t think of better additions to help ESM defend our win from last year.”

The 2018 Petit Le Mans takes place on October 10-13.