However, the goal of the Rookie Test, which has existed since 2015, is above all to offer the possibility for future talents to discover the discipline, to see new faces on the track. Maybe we saw the future star of the WEC this Sunday … We take stock!
Among these « new talents », Sebastien Ogier, seven-time WRC world champion, discovered Endurance by testing the Toyota GR010 Hybrid # 8. The rally legend clocked a fastest time of 1’50 »647 during the morning session in the car he shared with Sébastien Buemi, winner of the 8 Hours of Bahrain. The Frenchman impressed the team with his application throughout the tests. He finished at 1.950s from Nicolas Lapierre, covering 84 loops. Alongside him, Charles Milesi, new WEC LMP2 champion with Team WRT, completed several stints at the wheel of the Toyota GR010 Hybrid # 7. His lap of 1’49 »636 in the morning was very impressive. The French driver, who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans last August, quickly familiarized himself with his steed of the day. To find out more, read HERE …
In LMP2, Sophia Floersch was at the wheel of the Oreca 07 # 31 Team WRT LMP2 champion. She was very impressive in the car and set the best time in the category in 1’50’870 at the very end of the day (102 laps). She edged Jazeman Jaafar (Oreca # 38) by 0.441s.
Great performance at DragonSpeed USA who had invited Sebastian montoya, the son of Juan Pablo Montoya. Coming straight from Italian Formula 4, the 16-year-old has adapted well to the Oreca, completed several good stints with his father at his side to advise him and left with the third fastest time of the day.
Richard Mille Racing lined up the double W-Series champion, Jamie Chadwick, Alice powell, as well as the French pilot Lilou Wadoux. Alice Powell completed 31 laps setting her best time of 1’53 »578, describing the experience as « Very positive and interesting from a technical point of view ». Chadwick competed in the three-hour afternoon session and clocked a best time of 1’53’668 and Lilou Wadoux a 1: 55.131 for his debut at the wheel of a prototype. Don’t forget that the Frenchwoman drove an Alpine A110 Cup this year.
Kevin Estre’s time of 1’57’583 will remain the best time of the day in GTE Pro (911 RSR # 92) knowing that no official Porsche took the track in the morning. He is ahead of the new world champion, Alessandro Pier Guidi. AF Corse had engaged Simon mann as well as Christoph ulrich for this Rookie Test. The first, who has ridden in IMSA and Italian GT for AF Corse this season, signs the 4th fastest time ahead of Christoph Ulrich.
Several new faces appeared in GTE Am category like Gregory Huffaker, Florian Latorre (seen at Le Mans at Proton Competition) and Andrew Watson on the Aston Martin Vantage TF Sport # 33. It is also the latter who was the fastest of the two sessions. It should be noted that he rode on all the Vantage cars present, the # 98 of AMR and the # 777 of D’Station Racing and that he occupies the first three places in terms of lap times.
The Ferrari 488 GTE Evo # 60 Iron Lynx was also very fast on the track with a Robert Kubica having swapped his LMP2 for a GTE. He dominated the afternoon lap times with a fastest lap of 1’58 »632. He is ahead of pilots like David Pittard, Florian Latorre at Aston or even the pilot of F3 Alexander Peroni (Ferrari Iron Lynx). Others have also shown themselves as the French pilot Valentin Hasse-Clot.
It is in any case in this category that we have seen the most new pilots: Bruno Baptista, FGirolmi ranco, TCR Europe champion, Benjamin goethe, the son of former WEC driver Roald Goethe, Nicolaj Kjaergaard, Kenton Koch, Dylan Murray, son of David Murry which has four participations in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, or Roman De Angelis seen in IMSA at Heart of Racing in GTD (Aston Martin).
Finally, a word about our ELMS champion in LMP3, Laurents Hörr. Selected by the FIA WEC, he was able to test the Ferrari 488 GTE # 54 and # 83 of AF Corse signing a 1: 59.706 the afternoon at a 1.3s from the best time in the category..