The two-time Formula 1 (F1) champion Fernando Alonso has joined Toyota Gazoo Racing. The Spaniard will be competing for the Japan-based team in the World Endurance Championship. Fortunately, this will not impede his responsibilities for his current F1 team McLaren.
TGR will again field two of its 1,000 hp TS050 HYBRID race car for the whole season of WEC. The team’s #8 car will be driven by Alonso with 2016 Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi and former F1 driver Kazuki Nakajima. Joining them in the #7 car will be Mike Conway and José María López, who both raced in Formula E, as well as former F1 racer Kamui Kobayashi.
I am looking forward to seeing how much TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will grow when our drivers and all team members take what they have learned thus far in endurance racing and add to it what they will gain from Fernando's experience. The entire team is excited about this opportunity for growth. Through the challenge of WEC endurance races and, among those, on the grueling roads of the Le Mans 24 Hours, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will do its best, together with Fernando, to outdrive the competition.
Alonso will make his WEC debut at the 24 hours of Spa-Francorchamps and will compete for the rest of the season, which will not conflict with the 2018 F1 calendar.
The WEC is an endurance racing event that features multiple race car classes competing in one grid. It includes Le Mans Prototype (LMP) and production-based grand tourers such as the BMW M4, Porsche 911 GT3, and Nissan GT-R. Teams consists of multiple drivers to cover the total time/distance of the race.