Toyota: Fernando Alonso missing WEC prologue test raises no concerns

Toyota believes Fernando Alonso will not be handicapped by missing out on an opportunity to drive its TS050 HYBRID in traffic prior to the start of the 2018/19 World Endurance Championship

Toyota: Fernando Alonso missing WEC prologue test raises no concerns

The McLaren Formula 1 racer will not drive the Toyota on track together with a full grid of cars before the Spa WEC superseason opener in May because the official pre-season Prologue test at Paul Ricard at the start of April clashes with the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Toyota Motorsport boss Pascal Vasselon said that Alonso's participation in the Daytona 24 Hours last month with the United Autosports LMP2 team and the prowess he displayed in traffic meant the team had no concerns with him missing the Ricard test.

"He will be less experienced in traffic than his team-mates and Spa will be his first experience of this in our car," Vasselon told Autosport.

"But he has already learnt about this at Daytona, so we have no concerns about this."

Vasselon said Alonso had shown an aptitude for the specific demands of endurance racing and was fitting in well with the Toyota LMP1 squad and his new team-mates.

"He understands what endurance is about and what his duties are," explained Vasselon.

Alonso revealed during his second endurance test with Toyota this week at the Algarve circuit in Portugal that he had found the team very welcoming.

"The atmosphere in the team is amazing," he said.

"From the first day everyone was very friendly with me: we have a WhatsApp group in which we are constantly chatting."

Kazuki Nakajima and Kamui Kobayashi will also miss the Ricard test because they will be on the duty with Toyota's Lexus brand in the Super GT Series opener at Okayama.

All six Toyota drivers, plus test and reserve Anthony Davidson, are taking part in the Algarve endurance simulation this week.

The team undertook a day's performance testing on Monday before embarking on a 30-hour run on Tuesday morning.

The test continued through last night and is scheduled to end this afternoon.

Toyota has one further endurance test scheduled ahead of the Prologue on April 6-7.

shares
comments
Formula E motors to power electric Perrinn Le Mans prototype

Previous article

Formula E motors to power electric Perrinn Le Mans prototype

Next article

Porsche Curves safety upgrade on Le Mans 24 Hours circuit completed

Porsche Curves safety upgrade on Le Mans 24 Hours circuit completed
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Teams Toyota Racing
Author Gary Watkins
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
Top 10 moments of an underrated British great Plus

Top 10 moments of an underrated British great

Brian Redman was one of the best sportscar drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a three-time champion on the fearsome American Formula 5000 scene. To celebrate his 84th birthday Autosport contacted him about his best races – and he decided to write the piece himself…

WEC
Mar 9, 2021
How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams Plus

How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams

The G-Drive squad has been a mainstay of endurance racing in recent years, and has linked up with Russian manufacturer Aurus in recent years to promote its brand. With a change of rules in endurance racing's top tables, the team could be well-placed to take advantage of a potential boom...

WEC
Mar 7, 2021
How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy Plus

How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy

OPINION: Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile Plus

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger Plus

The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger

Toyota's new GR010 contender for the World Endurance Championship's Hypercar era has little in common with the LMP1 TS050 that preceded it. But within the confines of the scaled back new rules, its latest challenger will be no less formidable a prospect

WEC
Jan 22, 2021
The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era Plus

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era

Porsche is returning to the top class of Le Mans with an LMDh prototype that it hopes will write its next successful chapter in sportscar racing. But it will have to go some to emulate its 956/962, a car which defines the Group C age more than any other

WEC
Dec 16, 2020
How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend Plus

How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend

He is synonymous with success at the Circuit de la Sarthe, but Tom Kristensen's sportscar legacy amounts to much more than his record-breaking nine Le Mans wins, as the most successful driver ever at Sebring and a world champion to boot

WEC
Dec 5, 2020