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August 22, 2019

Alonso Sets Sights on Dakar with Toyota Gazoo Racing

After trying out the Dakar-Winning Toyota Hilux last April, it looks like Fernando Alonso is now certain that he’ll be taking on the grueling endurance race with defending champions, Toyota. The two-time F1 and Le Mans champion will participate in a series of tests with Toyota Gazoo Racing over the next few months.

With the Hilux once again the basis of Toyota’s Dakar Rally challenger, Alonso will undergo an extensive training program that will take him across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East to orient himself with the challenging rigors of rally raid.

Fernando, 38, will continue testing in the deserts of southern Africa in August, followed by a non-competitive first outing at the 2019 Harrismith 400 in South Africa, fifth round of the South African Cross Country Series in September.

Toyota cars have been a perennial favorite at the Dakar Rally, with privateer and works teams accounting for over one quarter of total entries in the car category in the 2019 edition. The Toyota Hilux, at the hands of Nasser Al-Attiyah, a former Olympic athlete from Qatar as well as a rally raid legend, gave Toyota Gazoo Racing its first overall victory at the Dakar Rally earlier this year.

The 2020 edition also signals a new chapter for the Dakar Rally with the event moving to Saudi Arabia for the first time since the event's inception in 1978, and after a successful decade in Latin America.

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