Published: Fri, February 02, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Confirmed: Fernando Alonso Will Race at Le Mans With Toyota

Confirmed: Fernando Alonso Will Race at Le Mans With Toyota

Under the Toyota Gazoo Racing team, Alonso will be racing the TS050 Hybrid race vehicle when not racing his McLaren formula auto. Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima will now be joined by the double F1 world champion for the races.

The spaniard will make his LMP1 race debut at Spa-Francorchamps in May 2018 and will compete in all rounds of the 2018-19 season which do not conflict with his existing Formula 1 obligations.

The two-time Formula One champion will do his sports auto endurance racing for Toyota Gazoo Racing, McLaren announced.

The only WEC race Alonso will miss is the 6 Hours of Fuji, in Oyama, Japan, on October 21, which is in direct conflict the same weekend with F1's U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

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The #7 auto will keep the same line-up, with Jose Maria Lopez keeping his seat alongside Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi. "It is a race which I have followed closely for a long time and it has always been an ambition of mine to participate", Alonso says.

Fernando Alonso believes he will return to the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the future after a positive first experience in the sports vehicle race last weekend, seeing it as a good way to keep sharp through Formula 1's winter break. He continued, "It is a big challenge-much can go wrong-but I am ready, prepared, and looking forward to the fight".

The Prologue clash means that Anthony Davidson is likely to fulfil his Test and Reserve driver duties at Paul Ricard, as well as being heavily involved in pre-season testing.

"Endurance racing is a different discipline compared with single-seaters and it will be an interesting challenge. My aim is to be competitive at every grand prix, and I feel sure that we are closer to achieving that", said Alonso, who has 32 F1 wins among 97 podium finishes.

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"I am very excited to participate in the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time", he said.

Alonso said: "I've never been shy about my aim of winning motorsport's Triple Crown - the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans".

Alonso missed Monaco for the Indy 500 previous year, but the big difference in 2018 is that McLaren is now expecting to field a much more competitive Renault-powered auto.

Fernando Alonso has been making noise about competing at Le Mans for years now.

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That is despite the fact that it has been announced officially that the Spanish driver will contest not only Le Mans, but other WEC sports vehicle races for Toyota this year.

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