Ex-Formula One driver Kamui Kobayashi is being readied for a return to the Le Mans 24 Hour race following an injury to regular driver Kazuki Nakajima.
Following the collapse of the Caterham team at the end of 2014, Kobayashi was left without a drive in Formula One and swiftly entered the Japanese Super Formula single seater series, as well as being added to the Toyota sportcar roster and being assigned the role of test driver.
It now appears that Kobayashi may be set to return to the World Endurance Championship series sooner than first thought after first-team driver Kazuki Nakajima was injured during practice for the 6 Hours of Spa race, ruling him out of the famous endurance race.
Speaking during the Spa race weekend, Toyota said that Nakajima will “need a miracle” to be fit for Le Mans.
“Kazuki is in good spirits but he will be out for a while for sure,” said team director Rob Leupen.
“We are supporting him and will help him to get fit as soon as possible.
“We will need a miracle for Kazuki to be at Le Mans, but you can’t rule it out completely. I think though that we will get Kamui (Kobayashi) over to Europe as soon as possible. He has been informed to be ready.”
It has not yet been confirmed if Kobayashi will team up with 2014 WEC champions Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi, or if the Toyota team will promote Alex Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin or Mike Conway to the number one car.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is round three of an eight-race calendar for the World Endurance Championship, where it will be worth double points. The rest of the season features 6-hour races at other classic circuits such as Silverstone, Spa and the Nurburgring.