The Spanish Fernando Alonso, twice champion of the world of Formula One and winner of the last edition of the World Resistance, will conduct a series of tests with the Toyota Hilux, the car with which the Japanese manufacturer will compete in the Dakar Rally.
In a statement sent Tuesday by Toyota Gazoo Racing, the Japanese team confirmed that it will rejoin its ties with the Asturian driver after his successful campaign in the World Endurance.
＼ ダ カ ー ル ラ リ ー に 向 ロ ン ソ 選手 と 準備 開始 🚙💨 ／
WEC 2018-19 シ リ ー ズ チ ャ ン ピ オ 獲得 し た フ ェ ル ナ ン ド ソ ア ロ ン ソ 選手 （@alo_oficial） と @TOYOTA_GR は 、 今後 数 か 月 に 渡 り 協力 を 続 け # Dakar2020 に 参 戦 予 定 の ハ イ ラ ッ テ ス ト を 行 い ま す ❗
ア ロ ン ソ 選手 の コ メ ン ト は 画像 で ご 覧 下 さ い! pic.twitter.com/lYb5iK1Btb
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (@TOYOTA_GR) August 20, 2019
«During the next five months, Fernando, who seeks to expand his already remarkable career in the motor world by participating in other disciplines, will work closely with Toyota Gazoo Racing and his Dakar Rally team, experiencing an intensive training program at Toyota Hilux in Europe, Africa and the Middle East to get acquainted with the challenging rigors of the rally, ”said the Japanese brand.
Fernando Alonso, who is already in South Africa, will conduct tests in the desert of South Africa from today until August 23 and will participate out of competition in the Harrismith 400, also in South Africa, on September 13 and 14.
«I am very excited to continue my adventure with Toyota Gazoo Racing. Together we have achieved many things since the first time I drove a Toyota, in November 2017. We achieved two consecutive victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and won the Resistance World Championship, of builders and drivers, with Sébastien (Buemi) and Kazuki (Nakajima). I tried the rally 'off-road' at the beginning of the year and I had such a good taste, I want to continue, ”explained Alonso.
The 38-year-old Spaniard said that the experience of driving the Hilux is "totally different," but he was excited to travel "a steep learning curve."
«I am looking forward to these months of training, getting to know the Hilux and working with the team. I have always maintained that I want to pursue new challenges in different disciplines and I am in a great team to do that, ”he said.
Toyota is one of the candidate teams to succeed in the next edition of the Dakar Rally after the triumph of Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah at the beginning of the year.
The 2020 edition of the Dakar Rally will be novel, since it will be held in Saudi Arabia for the first time.
The director of the Toyota team, Glyn Hall, assured that Fernando Alonso enjoyed the experience of driving a Hilux last March and that they could adapt and improve.
"Fernando came to the test prepared and absorbed everything we taught him," he said. "The rally is new for him," he continued, "but Toyota is the current Dakar champion and I am sure that we will work very well together so that Fernando gains confidence over the next few months," he said. The Dakar Rally may be the next great challenge of the laureate Spanish pilot.
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