Nyck de Vries, Former Formula 1 Driver, Joined Toyota’s WEC Le Mans Team

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Toyota Gazoo Racing, the reigning WEC champions, are gearing up for the 2024 World Endurance Championship (WEC) season with a notable addition to their driver lineup. Former Formula 1 driver Nyck de Vries is set to join the team, stepping into the #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid and taking over from José María López.

De Vries, who previously served as a reserve driver for Toyota in the FIA WEC from 2020 to 2022 and has experience with Racing Team Nederland, G-Drive Racing, and TDS Racing X Vaillante in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, brings a wealth of endurance racing history to the team. His return to Toyota as a designated driver marks an exciting new chapter in his endurance racing career.

In addition to his WEC commitments, De Vries will also be busy in the Formula E series, returning to Mahindra Racing, where he clinched the championship in the 2020-21 season.

José María López, a prominent figure for Toyota in the FIA WEC since 2017, is set to transition to the LMGT3 class with Team Akkodis ASP. In this new role, López will contribute to the development of the Lexus RCF GT3 for the team and provide support to its drivers, representing a shift from the top-tier class.

Ritomo Miyata, coming off a successful season with victories in the Japanese Super Formula championship and the SUPER GT 500 class, will take on the role of reserve driver, adding further diversity to Toyota’s pool of talented drivers.

This anticipated shift in Toyota’s lineup signifies a significant transition. Kamui Kobayashi, an integral part of the #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid, acknowledged López’s contributions and welcomed De Vries back to the team. Kobayashi expressed confidence in the team’s cohesion and strength as they prepare to face heightened competition in the Hypercar class.

De Vries himself is excited about his return to endurance racing with Toyota Gazoo Racing. Having previously served as a Test and Reserve Driver, De Vries looks forward to the challenges alongside seasoned drivers Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi in car #7, highlighting their combined talent as a competitive team.

Meanwhile, the #8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid will maintain its lineup of Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, and Ryō Hirakawa for the upcoming season after securing consecutive titles.

De Vries’ inclusion in Toyota’s 2024 roster follows a series of negotiations. Initially signing with Toyota in 2023 but being called up by AlphaTauri, De Vries resumed discussions with Toyota after an early exit from Formula 1, securing his spot for the upcoming WEC season.

Additionally, José María López’s continued association with Toyota under the Lexus brand in the LMGT3 category highlights the wealth of experience that will be dedicated to guiding younger drivers in the WEC GT3 category.

The forthcoming WEC season promises intense competition in the LMGT3 class, with entries from various manufacturers, including Porsche, Corvette, Aston Martin, Ferrari, BMW, Lamborghini, Ford, and now Lexus.

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