Alonso 'heading to Le Mans' - and more - with Toyota in 2018

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Brazilian Grand Prix
© XPB 

Fernando Alonso will race in the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race next year with Toyota, according to BBC Sport.

And it seems that it might not be a one-off deal for Alonso to appear in the 2018 World Endurance Championship, either.

Although no formal contract has yet been agreed, the BBC says that Alonso will definitely drive a Toyota LMP1 car at Le Mans.

"Le Mans is agreed," a source close to Toyota told the broadcaster. "The rest of the season is still being negotiated but it looks like he will do most of the races."

Alonso himself would not confirm the reports.

"So far, nothing to comment. We will see. Just rumours," he told reporters at Interlagos. "I didn't look into those details yet so we will see. I would like to race every weekend."

Toyota were also unwilling to talk about the reports. "We have no comment to make on this speculation," said a Toyota spokesman.

Alonso has made no secret of his desire to tackle motorsport's 'Triple Crown'. That consists of the three most famous motor races in the world - the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500, and Le Mans.

He is already a two-time winner at Monaco in 2006 and 2007, as well as being a two-time world champion. He took part in this year's Indy 500 but was thwarted by a Honda engine failure in the closing laps.

Alonso recently extended his Formula 1 contract with McLaren for another year. A key provision was that he would be allowed to race at Le Mans in 2018.

There is only one scheduling clash between F1 and WEC next year. The United States Grand Prix and the Japanese WEC race at Fuji are both on October 21. Otherwise, there is no reason why Alonso couldn't take part in more endurance events between Grand Prix races.

The 36-year-old has already confirmed that he will race in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in January. He'll drive for United Autosports, the LMP2 team co-founded by McLaren executive director Zak Brown.

Many have seen this as a 'warm-up' for him for Le Mans later in the year.

Reports earlier this week suggested that Alonso had visited the Toyota WEC headquarters in Cologne for a seat fitting. An LMP1 rookie test is scheduled in Bahrain on November 19, although driver details have not been announced.

Toyota's own future in WEC remains in doubt, although it is expected to remain in the championship in 2018 at least.

"We are looking to stay - and only with the goal of winning," said Shigeki Tomoyama, Toyota's head of motorsport, at last month's Tokyo motor show.

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