Despite announcing his retirement at the end of the last season, Alexander Wurz of Austria has been tapped a reserve driver for Toyota at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Wurz, the youngest ever Le Mans winner, will also play the role of grand marshal during the marathon 24-hour race scheduled on June 19 to 20.
Kamui Kobayashi has been designated to fill Wurz’s seat in the Toyota team but if one of the six official drivers has to pull out for any reason, the Austrian will be ready to step in. Last year. Kazuki Nakajima was injured in the Spa-Francorchamps round of the World Endurance Championship, generally considered a practice run for Le Mans. Fortunately, Nakajima was declared fit to race at Le Mans, but then reserve driver Kamui Kobayashi was authorized to take the wheel on the test day, just in case.
However, the test day is not mandatory for reserve drivers and Wurz is already taking part in private test sessions with the Toyota TS050 Hybrid this season.
In his role as grand marshal, the two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will drive the field to green aboard a safety car in the afternoon of June 14. Whatever happens, he won’t be starting the race.
In any case, Le Mans Prototype 1 teams must designate the driver who will start the race at the scrutineering session.