U.S. Markets closed

Toyota adds WEC to Super GT points leader Yamashita's schedule

Gary Watkins
Toyota adds WEC to Super GT points leader's schedule

Toyota has placed Super GT points' leader Kenta Yamashita in an LMP2 car for the 2019/20 World Endurance Championship season.

Yamashita, a member of Toyota's driver development programme, will race an ORECA-Gibson 07 for the Danish High Class Racing squad in the full WEC, starting at Silverstone in September.

The 23-year-old, who shares a Team LeMans Lexus in Super GT with Kazuya Oshima (pictured below), will drive alongside Anders Fjordbach and veteran Mark Patterson for the WEC newcomer.

A statement from Toyota read: "Toyota Gazoo Racing will follow Kenta's progress closely as it evaluates potential future drivers for its WEC programme.

"The move to WEC is a significant step in Kenta's development as a driver, giving him the chance to become familiar with a different type of endurance racing car as well as circuits on which he has so far little experience."

Toyota adds WEC to Super GT points leader's schedule

Yamashita, who is also racing in Super Formula this season, said: "I am very excited to be racing in WEC and LMP2 for the first time; thanks to Toyota Gazoo Racing and High Class Racing for this opportunity.

"There is a lot for me to learn and I am sure the team will help me a lot.

"Now I can't wait for testing to begin so I can prepare myself for an exciting season."

Toyota followed a similar route with Ryo Hirakawa, which it placed with the TDS Racing and G-Drive/DragonSpeed teams in the European Le Mans Series in 2016 and '17 respectively.

He lost out to reigning Super Formula champion Yuji Kunimoto for a race seat when Toyota expanded its Le Mans 24 Hours assault to three cars in 2017 and instead acted as reserve.

Current Toyota WEC drivers Kazuki Nakajima and Kamui Kobayashi are also graduates of the Japanese manufacturer's development scheme.

Get unlimited access to the world’s best motorsport journalism with Autosport Plus