Two-time Formula One world champ Fernando Alonso will test Toyota’s Dakar rally vehicle on 3 various continents over the next couple of months as he prepares for his next significant target in motorsport.
Alonso left Formula One at the end of 2018 to pursue brand-new obstacles and has to do with to embark on maybe his most difficult yet as he prepares for an entry to the 2020 Dakar Rally.
The famous rally raid competitors was developed in 1978 and initially ran in between Paris and Dakar prior to security issues in Mauritania in 2008 saw it switch to South America. Next year, it will happen in Saudi Arabia in January, and Alonso, who has no competitive rallying experience and got his very first taste of Toyota’s Dakar- specification Hilux in the Kalahari Desert in March, will carry out an extreme training programme ahead of the occasion.
Starting on Tuesday, he will participate in a four-day test in the deserts of Namibia prior to a non-competitive very first trip at the Harrismith 400 in South Africa– the 5th round southern African Cross Country Series– on September 13 and 14.
Although his involvement in the 2020 Dakar Rally has actually not been validated, even more tests in Europe and the Middle East will continue to prepare him for a most likely Dakar launching in January.
“I got a taste of off-road rallying earlier this year and it left me with a good feeling that I want to prolong,” Alonso stated. “I understood it would be a completely various experience with a high knowing curve however the Hilux simply felt excellent; it offered me a lot self-confidence so rapidly and I was enhancing loop after loop.
” I’m actually looking forward to the next couple of months of training, getting to understand the Hilux and dealing with the group. I’ve constantly preserved I desire to pursue brand-new obstacles in various disciplines and I’m at a terrific group to do that.”
Toyota group principal Glynn Hall included: “In March this year, we finished an effective two-day assessment with Fernando in our Dakar- winning Toyota Hilux in southern Africa which showed to be an important knowing experience. Not just did Fernando completely take pleasure in the experience, however we might see him adjust and enhance each time he supported the wheel.
“It was clear that Fernando came to the test prepared and was ready to absorb everything we showed him. Rally raid is new for Fernando and I’m certain he has the skill and spirit to take on this challenge. As reigning Dakar champions with a long history in rally raid, I’m confident we can work well together with Fernando to build up his confidence for rally raid competition over the next few months.”
Since leaving F1 at the end of 2018, Alonso has actually included a 2nd Le Mans 24 Hours success with Toyota to his name along with the World Endurance Championship title.
A 2nd effort to win the Indianapolis 500 in May ended with him stopping working to certify, however he still has his sights set on winning the race to total motorsport’s informal triple crown of success at the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans 24 Hours and the Indy 500.