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Alonso makes endurance vehicle test debut in Bahrain

20 November 2017

The two-time Formula 1 world champion attended a seat fitting at the Japanese manufacturer's racing headquarters in Cologne two weeks ago, in anticipation of a potential race programme in 2018.

The Spaniard attended Saturday's WEC 6 Hours of Bahrain (above) as a guest of the Bahraini royal family, and saw Toyota claim victory in the final race of the 2017 campaign.

The double Formula 1 champion completed 113 laps for the Toyota world endurance championship team at a test in Bahrain.

Toyota Gazoo Racing President Shigeki Tomoyama revealed last month that they were "looking to stay" in the championship, despite the depleted manufacturer involvement. And he's now short of choices if that's not going to be with Toyota...

The Spaniard is already confirmed to be competing in the 24 Hours of Daytona next January, the opening race of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and now he's spent some time testing Toyota's TS050 Hybrid LMP1 vehicle fielded in the 2017 World Endurance Championship.

It is a particularly strong showing, given that Alonso has only driven the vehicle on that day.

It was a great day.

"Such a vehicle is not only fast but also very consistent", he was quoted as saying by Germany's Auto Bild afterwards.

Alonso ran more than 100 laps in the vehicle, with a best time about seven tenths off regular driver Mike Conway.

Alonso's fastest time was a 1:43.013, only nine-tenths of a second behind a benchmark lap set by Buemi in the same vehicle, reports Sportscar365.

Drivers have yet to be confirmed, although technical director Pascal Vasselon told Sportscar365 this weekend that it would likely come in January, during the the manufacturer's annual motorsport event in Tokyo.

Alonso makes endurance vehicle test debut in Bahrain