Fernando Alonso had a “massive” impact on the FIA World Endurance Championship during his one-season stint in the series, according to its CEO, Gerard Neveu.

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Alonso moved into the WEC in 2018 with Toyota as part of his bid to complete the ‘triple crown of motorsport’, taking a step toward doing so by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the first attempt.

Alonso took a second Le Mans victory in 2019 alongside Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi in the #8 Toyota entry, as well as winning the WEC drivers’ title before leaving the series after one season to pursue other interests.

The arrival of Alonso coincided with the departure of Porsche from WEC’s top category, LMP1, leaving Toyota as the only major manufacturer in the class.

It helped bring the WEC to a number of new fans who followed Alonso’s progress, with Neveu saying that it did “a lot” for the series.

“You have no idea, it’s massive. He’s one of the superstars, not only because he is a top driver, but because he has the personality and character,” Neveu said when speaking at Autosport International.

“The fact that he’s a guy who loves motorsport, just loves to drive, and he said ‘my challenge is to win all the big championships I can win’ was very interesting.”

Asked what it was like to work with Alonso, Neveu said: “Very nice. [It was] very easy to work with him.

“He shared the same passion. He has a lot of respect for the fans first. He’s not a political guy.

“He’s just focusing on that he loves to drive, and loves to share with the fans. That’s it. This is perfectly corresponding to the values of endurance sports car racing.”

 

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