Written by Jeremy Pineda, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri
Former Formula One AlphaTauri driver Nyck De Vries is set to drive for Toyota in 2024.
The 28-year old had originally signed for Toyota, before a call-up to race for Red Bull-backed AlphaTauri emerged, after his contract had a “get out clause” giving him the chance to take up an F1 seat, and chase his dream.
However, this dream ended ten races in, the Dutch racer booted out in favour of more experienced racer Daniel Ricciardo. de Vries has been resurrecting his motorsport career ever since, signing up for Mahindra's Formula E team for the upcoming season ten.
The Dutchman is set to be replace the incumbent Jose Maria Lopez, meaning de Vries will be racing alongside Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway in the #7 Toyota.
de Vries joined the Toyota WEC Team in 2020, as a test and reserve driver for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) for the Japanese team’s 2019-2020 campaign and 2021 seasons.
An elated de Vries said in a statement:
“I am super excited to be returning to endurance racing, especially with Toyota Gazoo Racing”. “Endurance racing is something that I have always enjoyed and it is a discipline with incredible momentum at the moment.”
“I was with the team in a different role for a few years but never got the chance to race, so it is great that the time has now arrived, and I want to thank the team for their continuous support and faith in me. I am very much looking forward to sharing car #7 with both Mike and Kamui. They are both very talented drivers who achieved a lot, and I am sure we will make a great team.”
De Vries moving to Toyota comes at the expense of replacing Jose Maria Lopez. who will leave the team after spending 6 seasons winning two titles and one victory at the 24 Hours Of Le Mans.
However, the 40 Year old Argentinian will remain tied with Toyota, and is set to drive one of the two Lexus RC F GT3 which has been entered by Akkodis ASP.
Toyota WEC Vice Chairman Kazuki Nakajima said in a statement “I want to create a system that allows experienced drivers to give feedback to younger drivers, just as José will be driving in WEC GT3”
The former F1 racer also quoted:
“I would also like to make this program a collaboration among various bases to create an environment where not only Japanese drivers but also many other drivers can challenge themselves.”
Lexus will be one of the new manufacturers to join WEC in the new LMGT3 category, a category including a number of big-name entries such as Porsche, Corvette, Aston Martin, Ferrari, BMW, Lamborghini, and Ford.
The First race of the FIA WEC 2024 Season is on 2nd of March in 2024, and will take place around the Losail International Circuit, in Qatar.