Toyota confirms Nicolas Lapierre will miss rest of 2014 WEC season

Nicolas Lapierre will be absent from Toyota's World Endurance Championship squad for the remainder of the season, the Japanese manufacturer has confirmed

Toyota confirms Nicolas Lapierre will miss rest of 2014 WEC season

The latest decision follows the Frenchman's absence from the line-up of the #8 Toyota TS040 HYBRID at this month's Fuji event by what was described as "mutual agreement".

His regular team-mates Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi went on to win Toyota's home event and extend their lead at the top of the WEC drivers' points and will drive as a duo at Shanghai this weekend and for the remaining rounds at Sakhir and Interlagos.

A statement from Toyota read: "Based on its experience in Fuji, the team considers it is the best option to continue with a two-driver line-up of Anthony and Sebastien in Shanghai and for the remaining races of the season."

Toyota has so far yet to fully explain its reasons for dropping Lapierre, who went off in the rain at both the Le Mans 24 Hours and at Austin in September, although it has confirmed that he is having to cope with a serious illness in his family.

It has insisted, however, that Lapierre remains part of its long-term plans and that he has been offered a new contract for 2015, but has been unable to confirm that the deal would be for a race programme.

The uncertainty comes at a time when Frenchman is being increasingly linked to a place on Nissan's roster of drivers for its 2015 LMP1 contender.

Toyota has also confirmed that Mike Conway, who subbed for Kazuki Nakajima at last month's Austin WEC round, will again share the #7 TS040 HYBRID with Alex Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin in Bahrain on November 15.

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