Spa 24 Hours winner Nicky Catsburg gets works Porsche WEC GT test

Spa 24 Hours winner Nicky Catsburg will drive a GTE car for the first time in Bahrain later this month with a test for the factory Porsche squad

Spa 24 Hours winner Nicky Catsburg gets works Porsche WEC GT test

The Dutchman, who triumphed in this year's Spa Blancpain Endurance Series blue riband with the Marc VDS BMW squad, will be given a try-out in a Manthey 911 RSR at the official World Endurance Championship rookie test the day after the series finale on November 21 together with Porsche Supercup champion Philipp Eng.

Catsburg, 27, told Autosport: "It is very nice to get a chance with the manufacturer to be with in sportscar racing right now.

"They contacted me a couple of months ago and we had very open discussions about getting to know each other."

A spokesman for Porsche played down the significance of the test.

"The test day is arranged and the cars are there, so we decided to give two young drivers a chance with the factory team, but there is nothing that can be read into it," he said.

Other new drivers confirmed for the rookie test include three-time Daytona 24 Hours winner Memo Rojas and GP2 racer Julian Leal in the BRE-Nissan BR01 LMP2, which will be competing in the Bahrain WEC finale, as well as six young drivers from the Aston Martin Racing Evolution Academy scheme.

Catsburg will test a Porsche in anger for the first time at Daytona next week when he begins his programme with the Black Swan Racing team ahead of an attack on the GT Daytona class of the 2016 IMSA SportsCar Championship in a 911 GT3-R alongside team owner Tim Pappas.

News of a factory deal for the 24-hour enduros at Spa and the Nurburgring will be announced soon, according to Catsburg, who explained that he is also likely to continue in the World Touring Car Championship with Lada.

Catsburg is also being given a try-out by the TDS Racing European Le Mans Series squad aboard its ORECA-Nissan 05.

The French team is testing at Paul Ricard on Friday with Catsburg and Nicolas Lapierre alongside US entrant DragonSpeed, which is giving its new ORECA coupe a shakedown ahead of its 2016 ELMS campaign.

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