Two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso has confirmed his long-mooted debut at the Dakar Rally in 2020 with Toyota, taking place next January in Saudi Arabia.

Alonso retired from F1 at the end of the 2018 season in order to pursue other interests outside of grand prix racing, having set his sights on completing the 'triple crown of motorsport'.

The Spaniard claimed a second 24 Hours of Le Mans victory with Toyota this June, wrapping up the FIA World Endurance Championship's drivers' title in the process on his final start for Toyota's LMP1 team.

Alonso has been completing an extensive testing programme with Toyota geared towards a Dakar entry in 2020 for much of this year, and made his competitive debut in South Africa last month before taking part in the Morocco Rally two weeks ago, finishing 27th after an early crash.

In a press conference held ahead of this weekend's World Rally Championship round in Spain, Alonso formally confirmed he would be taking part in next year's Dakar Rally with Toyota Gazoo Racing as part of its four-car entry.

Alonso will team up with co-driver Marc Coma, whom he has spent much of this year working with to prepare for his debut.

The announcement marks Alonso's first confirmed racing commitment for the 2020 season, but the Spaniard is widely expected to attempt to enter the Indianapolis 500 for a third time with McLaren as part of his push to win the triple crown.

The 2020 Dakar Rally begins on January 5 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

 

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