Credit: © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images
Nyck de Vries has returned to the Toyota GAZOO Racing team after gaining a World Endurance Championship drive in the #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid for the 2024 season.
The former test and reserve driver for Toyota will replace Jose Maria Lopez in the outgoing #7 driver line-up, sharing the #7 with Mike Conway and Team Principal Kamui Kobayashi.
Before claiming the 2022 FIA Formula E World Championship for Mercedes-Benz, the 28-year-old competed across three WEC seasons in LMP2 machinery, his most recent entry being at the 2022 Le Mans 24 Hours.
After that, he competed for Alpha Tauri in his first ever Formula 1 season before he was dismissed.
The Dutchman said: “I am super excited to be returning to endurance racing, especially with Toyota GAZOO Racing.
“Endurance racing is something that I have always enjoyed and it is a discipline with incredible momentum at the moment.
“I was with the team in a different role for a few years but never got the chance to race, so it is great that the time has now arrived, and I want to thank the team for their continuous support and faith in me.
“I am very much looking forward to sharing car #7 with both Mike and Kamui.
“They are both very talented drivers who achieved a lot, and I am sure we will make a great team.”
Kobayashi added: “… it is exciting to welcome Nyck back to the team as part of the #7 crew.
“We know from his time as our Test and Reserve Driver, plus his other racing, how quick and consistent he is.
“Next season again we have a top driver line-up in both cars, and this will be important when we face even more competitors in Hypercar.
“I am sure we will grow stronger together as a team over the winter, ready for the new challenge.”
He drove his first two WEC seasons with Racing Team Nederland in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, with his first LMP2 win at the 6 Hours of Fuji during the latter campaign.
In 2021, he drove at the 6 Hours of Spa for G-Drive Racing before the WEC’s maiden 6 Hours of Monza, once again for Racing Team Nederland.
Last year, after TDS Racing x Vallante driver Philippe Cimadomo was prohibited from starting the 24 Hours of Le Mans, de Vries was enlisted to replace him in the line-up after being present for the Toyota Hypercar team.
After the 15-minute warm-up session as track time on the race day morning, de Vries along with Mathias Beche and fellow Dutchman Tijmen van der Helm finished fourth with their Oreca 07-Gibson in LMP2, and eighth in the overall order.
Having tested with both the TS050 and then the GR010 Hybrid, de Vries will take on his first Hypercar campaign next year in Qatar on 2 March.
Keyword: De Vries returns to Toyota for 2024 WEC drive