Brendon Hartley has cut his first laps in Toyota’s TS050 LMP1 Hybrid since lockdown at a private test session at Circuit Paul Ricard as the countdown begins till the FIA World Endurance Championship resumes next month.
Organised by Toyota Gazoo Racing, the test was open to all LMP1 entrants as stipulated in the WEC sporting regulations meaning both Rebellion and ByKolles were also present.
The three-day test commenced on Tuesday with a one-day test and centred around a 34-hour endurance session starting Wednesday morning and concluding at 7 pm the following Thursday.
Hartley and Toyota stablemates Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima partnered with the team’s #7 driver lineup to complete 5000km of testing mileage.
Reigning F2 champion and recently signed Toyota reserve driver Nyck de Vries was also at the test and got his first laps as a full-time Toyota Gazoo Racing WEC team member.
No times were recorded over the test put photographs suggest all three LMP1 outfits experimented with their low-drag setups used for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Six Hours of Spa.
Hartley has been absent from the WEC scene since the Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas in late February as the global pandemic put the season into jeopardy.
A revised calendar has seen the 1000 miles of Sebring event cancelled while the illustrious 24 Hours of Le Mans was moved from its traditional June slot to September 19-20.
The Kiwi currently lies second in the standings, five points adrift of the sister Toyota with three rounds remaining.
LMP2 outfits Cool Racing and Signatech Racing and the GTE-Am AF Corse Ferrari and Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche were also present at the test.
The next round on the 2020 WEC calendar is the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps slated for August 15.