Fernando Alonso's Bahrain rookie WEC test with Toyota confirmed
Toyota has officially confirmed fielding two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso in this weekend's FIA World Endurance Championship rookie test. The official post-season test is scheduled for November 19 at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Alonso will drive the Toyota's LMP1 car, which he will have to share with the Japanese manufacturer's regular Sebastien Buemi, while the second car will have 2017 LMP2 category's promising driver Thomas Laurent - who will be guided by Mike Conway.
Toyota's team president Hisatake Murata commented: “We are very excited that Fernando will test our car. 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.”
Ahead of the F1's Brazil Grand Prix last weekend, it was widely reported that Alonso had his seat fitting in Toyota's HQ in Cologne, Germany, with reports suggesting his Le Mans 24 Hours deal was all-but confirmed, while more races in the WEC season was the discussing point.
The Japanese manufacturer confirmed Alonso's visit to its HQ in Cologne on November 7 for seat fit and also a simulation session to get a better understanding of the LMP1 cars. However, nothing was firmed on his future, especially relating to his participation in Le Mans or any of the other races in the Super Season.
The 36-year-old already made his presence felt on the starting grid of the 2017 WEC season-finale 6 Hours of Bahrain earlier on Saturday - the race which was won by the #8 Toyota crew of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Anthony Davidson.
In his quest for the Triple Crown, the Spaniard's preparation for the endurance race will already begin next month, where he will compete in a 24 Hours Kart race, before a competitive outing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona with United Autosports in January.