Fernando Alonso will take part in the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season – including two attempts at the Le Mans 24 Hours – for Toyota.
Confirmation of the Spaniard’s seat comes following his first 24-hour race experience in the Rolex 24 at the weekend, with Alonso having said he wanted to use the event as preparation for a potential future tilt at Le Mans. Having tested for Toyota in Bahrain at the end of last year, it has been confirmed that Alonso will be part of its full-time WEC program, although he won’t race in the 6 Hours of Fuji on October 21 as it is the only race to clash with a Formula 1 round.
“I’ve never been shy about my aim of winning motorsport’s ‘Triple Crown’ – the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” Alonso said. “We tried for Indy last year, came close, but just missed out.
“This year, I have the chance thanks to McLaren to race for the win at Le Mans. It is a big challenge – much can go wrong – but I am ready, prepared and looking forward to the fight.
“My deal to race in WEC was only made possible through the good understanding and strong relationship I have with McLaren, and I’m very happy that they listened and understood what this means to me.
“In no way will this challenge take away from my main target of Formula 1 with McLaren. In 2018, my aim is to be competitive at every grand prix, and I feel sure that we are closer to achieving that.”
Alonso, who will make his WEC race debut in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 5, takes Anthony Davidson’s seat at Toyota and will share the No.8 TS050 HYBRID with Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima. Davidson remains part of the line-up as reserve and development Driver.
Toyota president Akio Toyoda believes Alonso’s addition will improve Toyota as it goes after its first Le Mans victory.
“To Fernando Alonso, I say thank you so much for choosing Toyota as a partner for making your Le Mans dream come true,” Toyoda said. “I am extremely thrilled that Fernando, who has battled it out in numerous races and seen things that nobody on our team has ever experienced, will be driving for Toyota Gazoo Racing.
“I believe that having Fernando get behind the wheel for our team will only make our cars better.
“I am looking forward to seeing how much Toyota Gazoo Racing will grow when our drivers and all team members take what they have learned thus far in endurance racing and add to it what they will gain from Fernando’s experience. The entire team is excited about this opportunity for growth.
“Through the challenge of WEC endurance races and, among those, on the grueling roads of the Le Mans 24 Hours, Toyota Gazoo Racing will do its best, together with Fernando, to outdrive the competition.”