DC had letter of intent to keep Rebellion WEC LMP1 signing Laurent

Jackie Chan DC Racing co-owner David Cheng says he thought he had secured Thomas Laurent for the 2018/19 World Endurance Championship 'superseason' until his "surprise" defection to Rebellion

DC had letter of intent to keep Rebellion WEC LMP1 signing Laurent

French teenager Laurent was one of the revelations of the 2017 season in his rookie WEC campaign, which he spent with LMP2 squad DC Racing alongside Oliver Jarvis and Ho-Pin Tung.

The trio led the LMP2 drivers' standings for much of the season, bolstered by a class victory and second overall in the Le Mans 24 Hours, but ended up losing out on the title to rival squad Rebellion in the Bahrain season finale after the #38 ORECA experienced a fuel pick-up issue.

Laurent, who made his LMP1 test debut in Bahrain for Toyota, was announced as part of Rebellion's line-up for the Swiss squad's return to the top class last week.

But Cheng said an agreement had already been struck in principle for Laurent to stay at DC Racing for the 2018/19 superseason, as well as for the Daytona 24 Hours in January.

"I knew that many people had expressed interest in Thomas, but last month we had a letter of intent already to renew Thomas's contract for our line-up for the WEC superseason," said Cheng.

"I saw Thomas at our team's end of year Christmas party and he had told me that nothing is signed with Rebellion.

"So of course the announcement came as a surprise.

"We developed Thomas since the beginning of his career, but we would never stop Thomas from exploring further opportunities.

"Ultimately the choice will be his where he feels he wants to go.

"It's a shame how the situation developed, but we've been discussing as a team potential courses of action to take, while we await final decisions and signed contracts."

Cheng added the squad was now considering its options in the wake of Laurent's likely departure.

As well as Laurent, Jarvis is thought unlikely to return to the squad for the 2018/19 WEC campaign after he was announced as part of Mazda Team Joest's IMSA SportsCar Championship line-up for '18.

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