Toyota confirms Alonso LMP1 rookie test

Toyota confirms Alonso LMP1 rookie test

18 November 2017 – Toyota has confirmed that Fernando Alonso will participate for the team in the World Endurance Championship's rookie test at the Sakhir International Circuit on Sunday, as he edges closer to a Le Mans seat.

Alonso's outing has been mooted for several weeks, with the Spaniard harbouring ambitions of competing for motorsport's Triple Crown, having made his debut at the Indianapolis 500 earlier this year.

Following the final round of the WEC campaign in Bahrain, Toyota released a short statement to confirm that Alonso will join Thomas Laurent in piloting the TS050 HYBRID during Sunday's rookie test.

Toyota described Alonso as "very interested" in Le Mans and noted that the rookie test provided the "perfect opportunity" for the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 racer to get accustomed to endurance machinery.

Alonso completed a session in Toyota's simulator at its Cologne facility earlier this month, alongside a seat fitting.

"We are very excited that Fernando will test our car," said Team Principal Hisatake Murata.

"When he visited us in Cologne everyone who met him could sense his enthusiasm and passion for our sport; he is a true racer.

"We very much respect his interest in different forms of motorsport and it is a pleasure to offer him this chance to drive a hybrid LMP1 car. It will be interesting to hear his feedback on the TS050 HYBRID."

Alonso will remain in Formula 1 in 2018 after extending his deal to compete for McLaren, when the team ditches Honda power for Renault.

Toyota claimed five wins from nine races in LMP1 this season, though missed out on victory at Le Mans to Porsche, as the German manufacturer claimed both Drivers' and Teams' titles during its final season.

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