Aston Martin reserve Vandoorne gets chance in hypercars during WEC

Aston Martin reserve Vandoorne gets chance in hypercars during WEC

28-08-2023 14:33 Last update: 18:57

Ludo van Denderen

During the Zandvoort Grand Prix weekend, Stoffel Vandoorne told GPblog during an exclusive interview that winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans was one of his dreams. However, the Belgian reserve of the Aston Martin F1 team did not have a seat with a team in the World Endurance Championship(WEC), the championship in which the French race is run. Until this Monday then. Peugeot announced that Vandoorne will replace the injured Nico Müller at the 6 Hours of Fuji in Japan on Sunday 10 September.

Vandoorne raced in Formula E this season but, as reigning champion, could make little impact with DS Penske's car. In addition, he is a reserve in Formula 1 for Aston Martin, which recently gave him the opportunity to test the green car at Spa-Francorchamps. He is also Peugeot's first reserve in the WEC. This French team only entered WEC with the hypercar halfway through last season but already managed to surprise regularly. As Nico Müller is not fit, Vandoorne will get his chance in Japan.

Vandoorne hopes for a permanent seat in WEC

A good performance there might help Vandoorne for the future. Speaking at Zandvoort, Vandoorne said of the WEC: "I would really like to win Le Mans one day. Endurance racing has received a boost with all the new constructors. It would be top to have a race seat there and be able to fight for a win at Le Mans."

The Belgian did realise that a season in WEC, plus being a test driver at Aston Martin AND a full season at DS Penske is logistically complicated. "It is possible. It will be difficult anyway, with all those programmes, to combine all that. But it's a possibility. I'm now kind of seeing what's possible for next year," Vandoorne told GPblog.

In any case, Olivier Jansonnie, Peugeot Sport's technical director, has every confidence in Vandoorne. "Unfortunately, Nico won’t be able to race for this round and we wish him a speedy recovery. Stoffel Vandoorne has all our trust, and we know that he will be able to step in quickly and give his maximum", he said.

GPblog will publish a long interview with Stoffel Vandoorne soon.