Fernando Alonso to race at 2018 Le Mans and some other WEC rounds

Fernando Alonso to race at 2018 Le Mans and some WEC rounds

Alonso will make his Le Mans race debut this June

McLaren confirms two-time Formula 1 champion will compete with Toyota Gazoo in the World Endurance Championship

Fernando Alonso will race at Le Mans with Toyota Gazoo Racing as part of a deal that will result in him racing in both Formula 1 and the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2018.

The two-time F1 world champion will compete in every grand prix for McLaren, plus WEC rounds that don’t clash with the F1 calendar.

That means he’ll take part in the crowning WEC event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but will miss the Japanese WEC round at Fuji on 21 October due to it clashing with the US grand prix.

Alonso said of Le Mans: “It’s a race that I’ve followed closely for a long time, and it has always been an ambition of mine to participate.

“Endurance racing is a different discipline compared with single-seaters and it will be an interesting challenge. It will be a learning curve for me, but I’m ready for this challenge and I can’t wait to get started”.

In WEC, Alonso will drive the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid alongside Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, both of whom have previously raced against Alonso in F1. Buemi also has a Formula E title to his name.

Alonso, who came close to winning his first Indianapolis 500 race last year with McLaren, will first race his LMP1 car in the WEC season opener at Spa-Francorchamps on 5 May.

Alonso replaces Anthony Davidson, the former F1 racer who won the 2014 WEC championship with Toyota, in the team’s main line-up. The 38-year-old Brit, who has been with Toyota since its WEC debut in 2012, now becomes the team’s reserve and development driver.

The TS050 Hybrid is the sole remaining electrified entry into the WEC’s LMP1 class, following the withdrawal of Porsche last year and Audi the year before.

The LMP1 class will also feature five or more privateer teams, including Manor, which will use Ginetta’s new GT60-LT-P1.

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Source: Autocar Online

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