Alonso tipped for Toyota LMP1 test

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso looks set to drive a Toyota in the official FIA World Endurance Championship rookie test in Bahrain later this month.

Alonso tipped for Toyota LMP1 test
Listen to this article

Motorsport.com sources have confirmed that the McLaren Formula 1 driver, who has aspirations to race at the Le Mans 24 Hours in his bid to win the 'Triple Crown' of motorsport, is close to a deal to drive a Toyota TS050 Hybrid in the Bahrain test on November 19.

The news comes amid reports that Alonso has visited the Toyota Motorsport GmbH factory in Cologne on Monday for a seat fitting.

Toyota would not confirm or deny the stories, a spokesman saying “we have no comment on this speculation”.

The try-out for Alonso in an LMP1 car could be a precursor to a drive with Toyota at Le Mans next June, should the Japanese manufacturer recommit to the WEC.

Toyota indicated that it would be open to talks with the 36-year-old Spaniard when it became clear that his new F1 deal with McLaren would give him the freedom to race at Le Mans.

Alonso outlined his aspirations to complete the Triple Crown — the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500 — ahead of his assault on the blue-riband IndyCar race in May.

Toyota team director Rob Leupen told Motorsport.com: "We are always interested in talking to top drivers and Pascal [Vasselon, TMG technical director] has a good relationship with Fernando going back to his days with Michelin in F1."

Toyota has yet to commit to remaining in the WEC, although Shigeki Tomoyama, the Japanese manufacturer's overall head of motorsport as president of Toyota Gazoo Racing, has given firm hints that it intends to remain in the series long-term.

“We are looking to stay - and only with the goal of winning," he said at last month's Tokyo motor show.

Frenchman Thomas Laurent, part of Jackie Chan DC Racing LMP2-winning line-up at Le Mans this year, is the rookie confirmed to drive a Toyota at the Bahrain test.

A Porsche 919 Hybrid will be tested by the winner of this year's Formula 3.5 V8 series, which climaxes over the WEC Bahrain weekend.

The points are currently led by Pietro Fittipaldi, grandson of two-time F1 world champion Emerson.

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez
#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez

Photo by: Toyota Racing

shares
comments
Hartley: Post-Le Mans resurgence to thank for WEC title
Previous article

Hartley: Post-Le Mans resurgence to thank for WEC title

Next article

Bernhard column: Sealing a Porsche hat-trick in Shanghai

Bernhard column: Sealing a Porsche hat-trick in Shanghai
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Prime

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Prime

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, are arguably the greatest sportscars of all time.

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Prime

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return Prime

The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return

The Peugeot 9X8 will make its FIA World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend. The French manufacturer has gone radical and will be hoping it doesn’t need to overhaul its contender, as it did with its first Le Mans challenger…

WEC
Jul 8, 2022
How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans Prime

How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future Prime

How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans Prime

The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans

Three young Britons will make their first starts in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend in the highly-competitive 23-car GTE Am field. But how did they get here? Motorsport.com hears their stories.

Le Mans
Jun 7, 2022
The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory Prime

The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory

Peugeot went radical with the initial plan for its Le Mans Hypercar project, and then stuck to its guns. Here’s how things are shaping up a few weeks before the debut of the 9X8 in next month's Monza World Endurance Championship round

WEC
Jun 1, 2022