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An early start of Alonso in His new Toyota !!

Fernando Alonso has already been busy getting to grips with his new LMP1 prototype this week, it's emerged.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that the two-time world champion will be taking part in this year's Le Mans 24 Hours race. He'll also compete in selected rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship with Toyota.

Alonso had his first competitive outing in the series last weekend in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. However, that was in an LMP2 Ligier entry fielded by United Autosports. Various technical problems meant Alonso and his team mates Lando Norris and Phil Hanson finished in 38th place.

The Spanish driver had already had a chance to sample last year's Toyota LMP1 car before Christmas. He took part in a rookie test at the Bahrain International Circuit in November.

But this week was his first opportunity to try out the updated hardware that he'll be racing this season.

He took part in Toyota’s pre-season preparations at the Aragon circuit in Spain on Tuesday. That's the same day that the official announcement he would be racing at Le Mans was made.

Toyota was undertaking three days of endurance testing, including running at night. It was the team's first test of the 2018-specification car since an initial shakedown at Aragon early in January.

Four other drivers were in action. However, Sebastien Buemi – who will team up with Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima for Le Mans – was absent due to the birth of his second child Theo.

In Buemi's place, veteran endurance racer Anthony Davidson got some track time with the team. The Briton is having to stap aside for this year's Le Mans in make room for Alonso in the line-up.

Toyota did not disclose details of the testing. The team would only say that things "went well" and "had no issues".

Two more tests are planned before the WEC Prologue, which is scheduled to take place at Paul Ricard at the start of April.

It's yet to be confirmed exactly how many WEC races Alonso will participate in alongside a full season in Formula 1.

The only actual calendar clash between the two championship is on October 21. The 6 Hours of Fuji in Japan is set to take place on the same day as the United States Grand Prix in Austin.

However, Toyota is keen to get their new star signing to take part in every endurance race in 2018. Fuji has already indicated that it is working on rescheduling their round of the WEC season.


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