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Bahrain Rookie Test Line-up Announced – Strong mix across the classes for final official track time of 2022

The Bahrain Rookie Test driver line-up has been announced with a strong mix of drivers across the classes for the test that takes place the day after the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship season-finale Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain.

The same cars will be driven on the same track with some of the same drivers as in the Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain, but it’s the newbies to the party that bring added interest. 

Already announced, the Official WEC Rookies; Lilou Wadoux (FRA) will be seen out in action in whichever Hypercar wins the 2022 title; Lorenzo Colombo (ITA) jumps into the GTE Pro class, Doriane Pin (FRA) will get a taste of LMP2 and Finn Gehrsitz (DEU) gets a go in LMGTE Am. 

These Rookies will all get at least 30 laps behind the wheel of the championship winning car for their allocated category, with the four selected by the FIA World Endurance Championship organisation with their selection based on performance, race skills and commitment. 

Wadoux will be joined by an interesting mix of drivers in the Hypercar class, with the other runners across the classes selected by the teams. 

For Peugeot, it’s a mix of youth and experience in action in the 9X8, with Germany’s Maximilian Günther (25 years old), Dane Malthe Jakobsen (19), Frenchman Yann Ehrlacher (26) and Stoffel Vandoorne from Belgium (30) donning their race suits.

Vandoorne comes to the test as the recently-crowned FIA Formula E World Champion, with two Le Mans appearances, and 41 F1 starts with McLaren to his name. Günther is a Formula E race winner who will race for Maserati in 2023 whilst Jakobsen is a reigning European Le Mans Series LMP3 co-champion. Ehrlacher is a two-time FIA WTCR title-holder and will have been in action in Bahrain over the weekend for the penultimate round of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup. 

Over at Alpine, regular driver Matthieu Vaxiviere (FRA) could be joined by Wadoux – depending on the championship result – and an as-yet un-named driver. Meanwhile, at Toyota it’s their regular drivers plus Wadoux if the title goes to Toyota.

In the LMP2 class, where Pin gets behind the wheel of the winning car, a notable name is Nelson Piquet Jr, the 2016-17 Rebellion driver making a return to the WEC paddock to be in action for United Autosports USA in the #22 car which Daniel Schneider (BRA) and Andy Meyrick (GBR) will also drive. 

Prema Orlen Team have American Juan Manuel Correa and Dutchman Tijmen van der Helm in action, whilst Algarve Pro Racing have the biggest line-up with Filip Ugran (ROM), Mahaver Raghunathan (IND), Kyffin Simpson (USA) and Fred Poordad (USA) all in action.

Drivers remain yet to be announced for the JOTA, WRT and Richard Mille Racing squad, so watch this space.  

For the final official WEC track time for LMGTE Pro, Ben Keating jumps into the Corvette with which he will contest the LMGTE Am class next year, whilst Official WEC Rookie Colombo will be out in either the Porsche or Ferrari. 

Over in LMGTE Am, it’s a full driver room for the Northwest AMR #98 whilst Official WEC Rookie Gehrsitz will be in action  in either that car or the #33 TF Sport Aston depending on where the title goes. 

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