Davidson Toyota WEC duties prioritised over LMP2 even after Le Mans

Anthony Davidson's Toyota reserve driver commitments in the World Endurance Championship could prevent him from racing for DragonSpeed in the LMP2 division even after this year's Le Mans 24 Hours

Davidson Toyota WEC duties prioritised over LMP2 even after Le Mans

Davidson was moved aside to make way for Fernando Alonso in Toyota's two-car WEC line-up for the 2018/19 superseason, but has been retained as a test and reserve driver and was on the driving roster for the prologue test earlier this month.

The ex-Super Aguri Formula 1 driver was announced at the DragonSpeed LMP2 team last month, and will start racing for the team from August's Silverstone race.

But Davidson revealed that he will remain on call as Toyota reserve until the end of the superseason and potentially beyond, owing to his long-term deal with the Japanese manufacturer.

"That's one of the compromises and understandings that both teams have," he said. "That's all the way through the superseason.

"If anytime I'm needed, then Toyota have priority.

"Toyota has a relationship with DragonSpeed. They all know each other and it works pretty well.

"To do a deal within WEC would have been very hard with anybody else but Elton [Julian, DragonSpeed boss].

"I could have gone off to another championship and raced somewhere else, I would've had [Toyota's] blessing easily, but it gets more complex when you're out there on the same track as a LMP1 team who you're contracted to as well.

"It needed some negotiating, but it was all on friendly terms and with a good understanding. I feel really comfortable with how it's all worked out."

Davidson explained he had been offered a full-season race seat with DragonSpeed, but Toyota insisted that the 2014 WEC champion focuses on his LMP1 duties until Le Mans in June.

Audi WTCR racer Nathanael Berthon will replace Davidson alongside Pastor Maldonado and Roberto Gonzalez for Spa and Le Mans.

"I would have been well up for it [racing at Spa and Le Mans]," said Davidson. "But Toyota wanted me to focus on this programme.

"It's a belt-and-braces job for Le Mans this year, taking no risks, and I fit into that philosophy. I'm very much an integral part of the team up until that race.

"I've been using all my knowledge of this car to help development and make it as reliable and user-friendly as possible, and to be there as a 'just incase' reserve as well.

"I have to be prepared, the team needs me prepared, it just fits their plan for me to be with them right up until the crunch-time at Le Mans, where they're leaving no stone unturned in their bid to win it.

"After Le Mans, I'm free to go and have a play."

shares
comments
BMW hints at prototype Le Mans return with hydrogen-powered car
Previous article

BMW hints at prototype Le Mans return with hydrogen-powered car

Next article

Ex-F1 racer Pastor Maldonado surprised by WEC LMP2 car performance

Ex-F1 racer Pastor Maldonado surprised by WEC LMP2 car performance
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022
The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return Plus

The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return

The Peugeot 9X8 will make its World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend. The French manufacturer has gone radical and will be hoping it doesn’t need to overhaul its contender, as it did with its first Le Mans challenger…

WEC
Jul 8, 2022
Why Peugeot's sportscar return will capture the imagination Plus

Why Peugeot's sportscar return will capture the imagination

OPINION: Peugeot will make its World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend with the 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar that has ignored design conventions by eschewing a rear wing. Its distinctive look will help sportscar racing appeal to fresh audiences as a new golden era is ushered in

WEC
Jul 7, 2022
How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes Plus

How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How an Italian junior formula giant is readying for its Le Mans future Plus

How an Italian junior formula giant is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans Plus

The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans

Three young Britons will make their first starts in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend in the highly-competitive 23-car GTE Am field. But how did they get here? Autosport hears their stories.

Le Mans
Jun 7, 2022
The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory Plus

The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory

Peugeot went radical with the initial plan for its Le Mans Hypercar project, and then stuck to its guns. Here’s how things are shaping up a few weeks before the debut of the 9X8 in next month's Monza World Endurance Championship round

WEC
Jun 1, 2022
How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa Plus

How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa

After a chastening opening to the season at Sebring that ended in an enormous accident, Toyota's #7 crew got their World Endurance Championship underway with victory at a treacherously slippery Spa to make up for its sister car's Sebring defeat to Alpine, as Glickenhaus's promising qualifying turned to disaster in the race

WEC
May 9, 2022