Ex-F1 racer Kamui Kobayashi gets Toyota WEC reserve role

Former Toyota Formula 1 driver Kamui Kobayashi is returning to the Japanese manufacturer as its test and reserve driver for the 2015 World Endurance Championship

Ex-F1 racer Kamui Kobayashi gets Toyota WEC reserve role

The Japanese racer, who was given a try-out test at the Aragon circuit in Spain earlier this year, will dovetail the programme with his assault on the Super Formula single-seater series with Toyota-powered Team Le Mans.

Toyota launches 2015 LMP1 challenger

Kobayashi, who graduated to F1 with Toyota at the end of 2009 from its academy scheme, said: "It's great to be back with Toyota, and I am grateful to the team for giving me this chance.

"I know many of the team members from my time with Toyota in Formula 1 so this feels like I am coming home."

The 28-year-old added that he was "looking forward to building a strong working relationship with everyone and contributing to the development of the car."

The deal marks Kobayashi's return to the WEC after a year away, having contested the full 2013 season in the GTE Pro class as a factory Ferrari driver with the AF Corse team before returning to F1 with Caterham in 2014.

He replaces Mike Conway, who has graduated to a full-time race seat alongside Alex Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin after three outings with the duo in place of Kazuki Nakajima last year.

Nakajima has moved to join 2014 WEC champions Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson, and will compete in all of the races for the first time.

Nicolas Lapierre, who was dropped by Toyota ahead of last October's Fuji WEC round, remains under contract and, according to a press statement, will be "available for testing and development duties
throughout the season".

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