Formula E commitments change FIA WEC lineups


With various drivers in the sportscar world who compete in at least two championships at full time during a season, something that's quite common, one of the problems is dealing with date clashes between championships. Formula E has the New York ePrix coming at the same weekend of the 6 Hours of Nürburgring, which means some of the FIA WEC drivers will make the trip to America and some lineups will be shaken for Germany.

The LMGTE ranks will see Sam Bird taking leave to drive for DS Virgin Racing, meaning that Toni Vilander will fill the vacancy in the No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari, curiously coming from the United States, as the Finnish driver left his FIA WEC drive in 2016 to compete in the IMSA Sportscar Championship with Risi Competizione.

The LMP2 field will see Vaillante Rebellion suffer heavy changes as Nelson Piquet Jr. and Nicolas Prost will be subbed by Pipo Derani and Filipe Albuquerque. Derani switched between LMP2 and LMGTE machinery this year in his commitments with Ford and Tequila Patrón ESM, showing good performance in every machine he drives, and Albuquerque has most of his focus in the No. 5 Action Express Cadillac DPi machine in the IMSA Sportscar Championship, coming off a recent win at the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen.

Other LMP2 teams will also have their changes due to electric racing, as Manor will miss Jean-Eric Vergne and Alex Lynn will be absent in the G-Drive Racing camp. Vergne will be subbed by former Manor F1 and LMP2 driver Roberto Merhi, and Lynn will be replaced by ORECA specialist Ben Hanley.


The LMP1 drivers involved with Formula E decided to race in Germany, with Sebastien Buemi and Jose Maria Lopez driving the No. 7 & 8 Toyotas.

PHOTO: Vaillante Rebellion Racing