Formula 2 frontrunner Luca Ghiotto will make his FIA World Endurance Championship debut with the Ginetta LMP1 team at Fuji next month.
Ghiotto will share the #5 Ginetta G60-LT-P1 with Ben Hanley and Egor Orudzhev, with Charlie Robertson moving across to the sister #6 car alongside Mike Simpson and 2003 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Guy Smith.
Robertson takes the place vacated by Chris Dyson, who will skip the WEC’s Japanese round due to clashing commitments in the Trans-Am Championship in the USA.
Dyson had also missed the Silverstone opener due to an injury and will now make his first appearance of the 2019/20 season at Shanghai in November.
Team LNT had recruited ex-Audi LMP1 star Oliver Jarvis as Dyson’s replacement for Silverstone.
“We’re delighted that Luca can join us in Japan, he’s a real talent and loved the car at the Prologue but was unable to join the team at Silverstone as he had a clashing F2 fixture," Team LNT owner Lawrence Tomlinson said.
“Combining his talents with those of Ben and Egor will, I’m sure, help to unlock even more of the potential of the Ginetta AER on a circuit that will suit a car with good top speed.
“And with three very good drivers in the #6 Ginetta AER too we are going to be looking for a very strong result in our very first flyaway race with the new cars.”
Ghiotto tested for Team LNT for the first time during the WEC Prologue at Barcelona, placing the Ginetta squad fourth quickest in the final session - just over half a second down on the pace-setting Toyota.
Speaking after the test, the Italian admitted that WEC was his ‘Plan B’, should his F1 dream fail to materialise. He currently sits third in the F2 drivers’ standings, 70 points off championship leader Nyck de Vries with two rounds to go.
“For now the confirmation is for Fuji only,” Ghiotto told Motorsport.com. “There are no other races clashing with F2, if I had the chance to do more races I would be happy to do them.
“I know the car after the test but I’ve never even been racing in Japan, I’ve just driven Fuji a couple of times in a simulator. That will be the most difficult thing to learn.
"There’s a lot of time in the car in practice so it should be enough to learn everything I think.”
Following a fourth-place finish in the LMP1 class at Silverstone last month, the #5 Ginetta Ghiotto will be driving at Fuji will carry a weight penalty as part of the series' new performance handicap system.
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