Ex-F1 driver Jean-Eric Vergne joins Manor in WEC

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Ex-Formula One driver Jean-Eric Vergne will make his World Endurance Championship debut in 2017 with the Manor LMP2 squad.

Vergne, who raced for Toro Rosso in F1 between 2011 and 2014 before moving to Formula E, will take part in eight of the nine WEC races this season. The Frenchman's only previous experience of sportscar racing came earlier this year in the Dubai 24 Hour.

The Techeetah Formula E driver joins Simon Trummer, Tor Graves, Jonathan Hirschi and Roberto Gonzalez as confirmed drivers for the two-car Manor operation led by Graeme Lowdon and John Booth, both of whom were involved with the Manor F1 outfit until the end of 2015.

Vergne's foray into sportscars will also see him make his Le Mans 24 Hour debut in June, though he will miss the Nurburgring WEC round the following month due to a clash with the New York Formula E double-header.

"I'm extremely happy to join CEFC Manor TRS Racing for the WEC season," Vergne said. "Endurance racing and especially the 24 Hours of Le Mans is something that has been more and more on my mind lately.

"I couldn't ask for more than to start this experience with such a great team. I can't wait to be behind the wheel and bring my motivation to the team to achieve great results together!"

Manor sporting director Lowdon added: "We are very happy to welcome Jean-Eric to the team. He is a very talented driver that we have followed over the years as we have raced alongside him in Formula One.

"We are really looking forward to starting the season and working together with Jean-Eric and I hope that, together, we will have a really successful year."

Vergne had carried out reserve driver duties at the Ferrari F1 team in 2015 and 2016, but confirmed his departure from the Scuderia last month.