FORMER Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button competed in the Mint 400 desert race earlier this year, driving a spec Trophy Truck; while the ranks of Dakar racers are littered with former WRC Champions such as Carlos Sainz and Sebastien Loeb, who are regulars of the event.
F1, IndyCar and WEC racer Fernando Alonso could be the next motorsport champion to turn to off-road racing, after he recently tested a Team Gazoo Toyota Hilux in South Africa. The South African-based team is the current champion of the Dakar rally, after Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel claimed victory for the squad in the 2019 edition of the rally held in Peru.
Alonso had a quick blast in the V8-powered Hilux racer and sounded impressed with the vehicle as he built up speed and gained a feel for the varied off-road terrain.
The two-time F1 World Champion retired from Formula 1 in 2018 and now drives for Toyota/Gazoo Racing World Endurance Championship outfit, competing at iconic race tracks such as Le Mans, Spa and Sebring. This year Alonso will also complete his second attempt at the Indy 500 with the Honda-Andretti team.
Alonso’s racing schedule remains busy, but we’re sure Gazoo would find a place for him within its 2020 team if the off-road bug truly bites and he elects to take the racing further.