Le Mans champion Hartley to race for Toro Rosso in Austin

From ESPN - October 13, 2017

Toro Rosso has confirmed Brendon Hartley, who won this year's Le Mans 24 Hours, will drive for the team at the U.S. Grand Prix while Pierre Gasly contests the championship finale of Super Formula in Japan.

New Zealander Hartley was formerly a Red Bull junior and had previous testing experience with the team in 2009, but his recent career has almost exclusively involved the World Endurance Championship (WEC), a title he won alongside Mark Webber in 2015. He will make his debut alongside the returning Daniil Kvyat, who had been stood-down by the team at the last two races.

With Carlos Sainz set to finish the 2017 season at Renault in place of Jolyon Palmer, Toro Rosso looked set to have Kvyat return alongside Gasly for the remaining races. However, there was uncertainty about whether Gasly would contest the Austin race or try to win the Super Formula championship, where he is one point off the lead ahead of the final race. On Friday, the team confirmed he will do the latter, giving Hartley a remarkable opportunity at a Formula One debut.

Hartley says the years he missed out on F1 made him more determined to make this opportunity a reality.

"What an amazing feeling!" Hartley said in the official press release. "This opportunity came as somewhat of a surprise, but I never did give up on my ambition and childhood dream to reach F1.


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