Davidson aiming for post-Le Mans race return

Anthony Davidson is targeting a race return in the second half of the year after being moved into a test and reserve role at the Toyota LMP1 squad.

Davidson aiming for post-Le Mans race return
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima
Podium LMP1: race winners Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima, Toyota Gazoo Racing
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid: Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima
Anthony Davidson, Toyota Gazoo Racing
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid: Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima
Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima, Toyota Gazoo Racing

The long-time Toyota driver, who has been replaced in the #8 TS050 Hybrid by two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso, will not be seeking a drive for the Le Mans 24 Hours, even though his employer would allow him to race in LMP2 or either of the GTE classes.

Instead, he wants to concentrate on his testing duties ahead of the FIA World Endurance Championship blue riband in June before seeking racing opportunities.

"I'm aiming to get myself into a racing situation later in the year," Davidson told Motorsport.com.

"I've got my eye on Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, because that's a race I'd like to win after having the pole a couple of times [with Peugeot in 2010 & 11] and finishing on the podium.

"Maybe if I can get to Petit that will open up new avenues for the big IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship endurance races in 2019."

Davidson, who won the 2014 WEC title for Toyota with Sebastien Buemi, explained that he had few thoughts about seeking a drive for Le Mans this June.

"Maybe Le Mans is a bit too early, because I am going to be busy with testing right up to the race," said the 38-year-old Briton.

"I'm a typical bloke in that I can only focus on one thing at a time, which is making the Toyota as fast, reliable and user-friendly as possible.

"As much as I'd love to drive a P2 or a GTE car in the future, I've come so close to winning Le Mans overall that getting a class victory wouldn't scratch that particular itch while I'm still so involved in the LMP1 programme."

Davidson said that he believes he is still "operating at the top of my ability".

"Every driver has peaks and troughs, but I proved that I was back to my best in the final two WEC races last year," he said.

"I’ve carried that momentum into this season and have been quick in testing: in the first endurance test of the year [at Aragon] I had fastest lap and the fastest stint."

Davidson is continuing his F1 roles in 2018 as a simulator driver with the Mercedes team and as a television pundit with Sky Sports.

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