McLaren Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso has joined Toyota Gazoo Racing for the 2018/19 World Endurance Championship ‘Super Season’.
Alonso, 36, has made it clear he’d like to win the motorsports ‘triple crown’ before he retires, which entails winning the Indianapolis 500, Monaco GP and 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Spaniard has already won in Monaco and last year he contested the Indy 500, where he ran near the front of the pack before his Honda engine let go late in the race. Now the two-time F1 champion is looking to go to Le Mans, where he’ll race a Toyota TS050 LMP1-H alongside teammates Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.
“I am very excited to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time,” Alonso said. “It is a race which I have followed closely for a long time and it has always been an ambition of mine to participate. Endurance racing is a different discipline compared to single-seaters and it will be an interesting challenge. I am looking forward to working together with, and learning from, Sébastien and Kazuki, who are both very experienced endurance drivers. It will be a learning curve for me but I am ready for this challenge and I can’t wait to get started.”
Instead of just racing at Le Mans, Alonso has decided to sign on with Toyota for the full 2018/19 WEC Super Season. This will see him race the TS050 in all WEC rounds except for the 6 hours of Fuji, which clashes with the 2018 Formula 1 US GP. The ‘Super Season’ combines two WEC seasons into one as the series transitions to Le Mans being the final, rather than landing in the middle of the season. It will consist of races at Spa, Le Mans, Silverstone, Fuji and Shanghai this year, along with races at Sebring and Spa in early 2019 before concluding with the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans next May.
With both WEC and F1 commitments penned, Alonso will have a busy 25-race calendar in 2018.
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