Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso will find himself in the driver’s seat of Toyota Gazoo Racing’s TS050 LMP1 car at Le Mans this year, after confirming he will compete in the 2018 WEC season.
His WEC debut will be at Spa-Francorchamps in May, though his eyes are set on the prize of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
With the blessing of his team at McLaren, Alonso will also compete in other WEC rounds that don’t conflict with the F1 calendar.
— TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WEC (@Toyota_Hybrid) January 30, 2018
“I am very excited to participate in the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time. It is a race which I have followed closely for a long time and it has always been an ambition of mine to participate,” Alonso says.
“Endurance racing is a different discipline compared to single-seaters and I enjoyed my first taste of it at Daytona.
“I am looking forward to working together with, and learning from, Sébastien and Kazuki, who are both very experienced endurance drivers.
“It will be a steep learning curve for me but I am ready for this challenge and I can't wait to get started.”
If it wasn’t already clear that Alonso hasn’t taken part in the WEC before, Gazoo lists his stats in a statement as follows:
“Le Mans debut, 2018; Le Mans starts, 0; Le Mans best result, n/a; WEC starts, 0; WEC wins, 0; WEC best season, n/a.”
Automobile Club de l’Ouest president Pierre Fillon notes that Alonso had expressed interest in the WEC in the past.
“For several years now, Fernando had shown interest in our event and the FIA World Endurance Championship. The conditions are now in place for this desire to come to fruition.”