(L to R) Josh Pierson, Nicolas Varrone, Antoine Duquin – Credit: FIA WEC
Josh Pierson, Nicolas Varrone and Antoine Doquin have been announced as the official 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship rookies for the test set to take place on the following day after the Bahrain season finale.
The three nominated drivers will take to the Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 5 November, a day after the 8 Hours of Bahrain race.
Each driver will take to the wheel of a car from each of the three WEC categories, and will drive a minimum allocation of 30 laps across a two-hour morning session, and a three-hour afternoon session.
They have been selected by the FIA WEC and the ACO for their “exemplary performance, race skills and commitment” throughout 2023.
Pierson, who became the youngest WEC debutant and race winner last year, has an ongoing LMP2 campaign with United Autosports in their #23 Oreca 07.
The 17-year-old American driver will drive in a Toyota GR010 Hybrid Le Mans Hypercar for the first time, a highly successful machine which recently finished 1-2 at its home race at Fuji Speedway.
He said: “I’m really excited to get my first experience in a Hypercar, especially with a team like Toyota that is experienced and passionate about the sport.
“I’m extremely honoured and grateful to have been selected for this and I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel.
“I’d also like to thank United Autosports, my co-drivers, and my driver coach, Stephen Simpson, as I owe a lot of my progression as a driver to them. I can’t wait to get started.”
2023 GTE-AM Le Mans winners, Ben Keating, Nicolas Varrone and Nicky Catsburg – Photo Copyright 2023 FIA WEC / FocusPackMedia – Marius Hecker
Varrone, currently driving for Corvette Racing, will take to the wheel of an Oreca 07-Gibson LMP2 from either WRT, Inter Europol Competition or United Autosports who are all mathematically contending for the LMP2 championship title.
The 22-year-old said: “I’m very honoured to be selected by the WEC to participate in the Rookie Test at Bahrain.
“This has been a great year with Corvette Racing. I couldn’t imagine a better year in this championship.
|We managed to clinch the title early and win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which was our biggest goal going into this season.
“So, it is fantastic to have the chance to drive the WEC championship-winning car in LMP2. This is something that is very great for me.
“Obviously I am driving GTs but my goal is Hypercar, so this is another step forward toward that for my career.
“It will be cool to drive the LMP2, and I’m sure I will enjoy it.
“Thank you to the WEC and everyone for this opportunity.”
Frenchman Doquin had a notable 2020 European Le Mans Series (ELMS) effort with Cool Racing and their LMP3, and a championship-winning outing with CD Sport’s Ligier JS P320 LMP3 in the Asian Le Mans Series, which took place in 2022.
An ongoing LMP3 ELMS campaign with Racing Spirit of Leman this year has seen him win the 4 Hours of Le Castellet, and runs second in the standings with teammates Jacques Wolff and Jean-Ludovic Foubert.
As a result, will drive the championship-winning Corvette C8.R at the test, which ran unchallenged to secure the GTE-Am Teams’ Championship title at the 6 Hours of Monza.
Duquin said: “I am eager to get my first laps behind the wheel of a car from the FIA WEC.
“I would like to express my gratitude to WEC and Corvette Racing for giving me this opportunity.
“It’s a source of pride for me to know that I will be driving a car that has won the championship in its category.
“After competing and winning in the Michelin Le Mans Cup and then in the European Le Mans Series championships, this is the logical next step in my endurance journey.
“I can’t wait to get there, to discover the car, the team, the track, and this unique environment.”
The full entry list, including drivers selected directly by the teams, for the WEC 2023 Rookie Test on 5 November will be revealed in due course.
Keyword: Pierson, Varrone and Doquin selected as WEC rookies for Bahrain test