Alonso joins Toyota for Le Mans debut, other WEC races


That McLaren were inclined to consent to Alonso diversifying has been an open secret for several months, given the Spaniard's stated desire to secure motor racing's Triple Crown - the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans, which, this year, is on June 16/17. He's already bagged the Monaco race, and past year he came close to bagging the Indy 500 but was ultimately let down by engine failure, something he's had to become accustomed to in F1 since his 2015 switch from Ferrari to McLaren. It's safe to assume he'll have another go. "If none of its cars finish first at Le Mans, defeat will have been snatched from the jaws of victory".

Alonso will share the No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing auto with Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima and will make his WEC debut at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 5, in the weekend between the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and the Spanish Grand Prix. The championship is entering a "super season" with Le Mans 2019 also included, so perhaps he'll have two shots at it.

Alonso said "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". The pair, along with Davidson, won five races previous year finishing the championship as runners-up, though neither driver has won Le Mans.

"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", Toyota president Akio Toyoda said.

And following his debut sportscar appearance at Daytona last week, a deal has now been reached for Alonso to race for Toyota in as many WEC rounds as possible.

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McLaren executive director Zak Brown said he was satisfied Alonso's Le Mans commitments would not detract from his main job in Formula One.

Want to see Alonso join Graham Hill as the only Triple Crown victor?

His participation at the season-opening 6 Hours of Spa in May has already been confirmed, after which will come the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. 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".