"Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso says climbing the Namibia dunes for the first time with the Toyota Hilux was ""shocking"", as his Dakar Rally preparation programme began in earnest. Alonso has been testing the Hilux in Namibia since Tuesday, following Toyota's announcement that he would embark on a rally-raid initiation programme with the view to potentially making his debut in motorsport's most prestigious cross-country marathon next January. The 38-year-old ex-F1 star had already trialled the Hilux in the Kalahari Desert back in March, but has been given much more complicated terrain to navigate for the current four-day test. It has also served as a first rehearsal of authentic rally-raid conditions for Alonso, as he was given open terrain to navigate using a roadbook by his Toyota Gazoo Racing team."
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