Alonso fuels Le Mans talk with WEC rookie test

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Fernando Alonso appears to have given the clearest indication yet that he will compete in next year's Le Mans 24 hour race, by signing up to take part in Sunday's World Endurance Championship (WEC) rookie test in Bahrain for Toyota.

Two-time Formula One world champion Alonso missed this year's Monaco Grand Prix to participate in the Indy 500 and has made no secret of his desire to complete motor racing's triple crown by winning each of those two races and the annual Le Mans showpiece.

On Saturday, Toyota Gazoo Racing announced the Spaniard would be part of their line-up in Bahrain, having visited the team's facility in Germany earlier this month for a seat fitting and simulator session.

A statement from Toyota read: "Fernando Alonso will participate in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) rookie test in Bahrain on Sunday 19 November.

"The 36-year-old will drive a TS050 hybrid during the one-day session, which occurs on the day after the Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain, the final race of the 2017 WEC season.

"Fernando is very interested by Le Mans as well as endurance racing in general and he is keen to drive a state-of-the-art hybrid LMP1 car, extensively developed for the WEC's top category.

"The Bahrain rookie test is the perfect opportunity for this and Toyota Gazoo Racing is honoured to run its 1,000hp TS050 hybrid for Fernando for an activity which will positively enhance awareness of endurance racing."

Team president Hisatake Murata added: "We are very excited that Fernando will test our car. When he visited us in Cologne everyone who met him could sense his enthusiasm and passion for our sport; he is a true racer.

"We very much respect his interest in different forms of motorsport and it is a pleasure to offer him this chance to drive a hybrid LMP1 car. It will be interesting to hear his feedback on the TS050 hybrid."