autoracing 1 week ago

Alonso completes 2 days of training with rally car

The Associated Press

MADRID (AP) — Fernando Alonso has completed 700 kilometers (435 miles) in two days of training in Poland as he prepares for next year's Dakar Rally.

Toyota says Alonso ran on a rally course that mixed hard and soft soil along with sand tracks and bumpy terrain.

Alonso says it was "definitely a positive couple of days" in which he could "experiment with a different sort of terrain." He says it "has been really fun to drive and I'm enjoying every test."

Toyota said last month Alonso would be undergoing an intense training program to "familiarize himself with the challenging rigors of rally raid."

The two-time Formula One champion completed a three-day test session in the deserts of southern Africa in late August. He is expected to be back in action from Sept. 13-14 in South Africa, when he will be a non-competitive participant in the Lichtenburg 400.

Alonso's participation in the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia still hasn't been officially confirmed. The 38-year-old Spaniard took a test drive in March in the Toyota Hilux truck that won the Dakar Rally this year.

Toyota team principal Glyn Hall says "we are focused on getting quality kilometers as Fernando continues to familiarize himself with the Hilux and rally raid."

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