Ferrari lets Bird skip Nurburgring WEC for FE

Ferrari lets Bird skip Nurburgring WEC for FE
By AutoSport

26/06/2017 at 10:35Updated

Sam Bird will skip the Nurburgring round of the World Endurance Championship in order to contest Formula E's New York double-header next month.

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Bird has agreed a deal with his sportscar employer Ferrari to miss the clashing WEC event in Germany.

Toni Vilander and Miguel Molina are among the candidates to stand in for Bird alongside Davide Rigon in the #71 AF Corse Ferrari at the Nurburgring, with an official entry list expected soon.

"With the first ever FIA sanctioned motorsport event to be held in New York, Formula E is continuing to push the boundaries and break new ground, and it's exciting to be part of that," said Bird.

"I know we'll put on a great show for the people of New York and I'm expecting big crowds to turn up on both days.

"Being a double race event, there's a huge amount at stake for all the teams and the drivers, so it's definitely one to watch."

Bird's DS Virgin team-mate Jose Maria Lopez is being held to his WEC commitments by the Toyota LMP1 team, so reserve driver Alex Lynn will stand in for him.

Earlier this year Lynn, whose New York drive is expected to be announced later this week, drove for DS Virgin in the Mexico City shakedown as Lopez was still travelling from Toyota's LMP1 launch at Monza the day before.

Lynn has also attended races in his reserve capacity for the DS Virgin team, and will continue his familiarisation with more simulator work and track testing before racing in Brooklyn.

Autosport understands that talks between DS Virgin and Toyota about Lopez potentially skipping the Nurburgring WEC event came to nought.

Lopez's Toyota WEC team-mate and FE points leader Sebastien Buemi finds himself in the same position despite similar discussions taking place between Toyota and Renault e.dams.

Buemi is set to be replaced by GP2 champion Pierre Gasly for the New York weekend.