Fernando Alonso undertook a further two-day test run in a Toyota Hilux in Poland as the push towards Dakar 2020 continues.
Following the announcement of a training programme for Alonso to compete in Dakar Rally in 2020, the Spaniard had his first official test with Toyota in Namibia towards the grueling cross-country rally.
As he flies off to Monza to attend the F1 Italian GP this weekend with McLaren, Alonso had a two-day test run in a Toyota Hilux on September 2-3 in Szczecin, Poland on a terrain prepared by Overdrive Racing.
It featured sand tracks, hard and soft soil, and bumpy terrain, something different than what he did in Namibia. “It was definitely a positive couple of days here in Poland where I could experiment with a different sort of terrain,” said Alonso.
“At this stage of my training, I welcome every kilometre in the Hilux and I’m happy we were able to push ourselves beyond the team’s original plans. It’s really great to be part of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing family and be given opportunities to try my hands at different types of motorsport.
“The Hilux has been really fun to drive and I’m enjoying every test.” At the same time, team principal Glyn Hall added: “This is the first test for Fernando in Europe with the Hilux driving on very different terrains and conditions compared to Namibia two weeks ago.
“As we progress through our intensive training programme, we are focussed on getting quality kilometres as Fernando continues to familiarise himself with the Hilux and rally raid, more so than pure mileage.
“Nevertheless, we were able to double the planned mileage for this test which demonstrates just how quickly Fernando is acclimatising to the Hilux. Next week, we leave the relative comfort of a private test setting to give Fernando a first taste of a rally raid competition environment at the Lichtenburg 400.
“We are grateful to the South African Cross Country Series for the special dispensation allowing TOYOTA GAZOO Racing to maximise this valuable opportunity in Fernando’s continuing training programme.”
As Hall mentioned, Alonso will have his first competitive rally raid outing in South Africa cross-country rally championship in the Lichtenburg 400, later this month on September 13-14.
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