Le Mans, France - Double Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso started gearing up for his Le Mans 24 Hours debut by recording the fastest lap in Sunday's official testing sessions for the iconic endurance race.
Alonso, who will be racing for Toyota in the top LMP1 category on 16/17 June, lapped the 13.626km Sarthe circuit in a best time of 3m19.066s in the No.8 TS050 hybrid, only 1.6 seconds outside the official lap record of 3m17.475s, set by Andre Lotterer in 2015 in an Audi R18 e-tron quattro.
Then he tweeted: "First laps at Le Mans! Mega circuit! Learning and enjoying every lap."
Alonso is combining the World Endurance Championship with racing for McLaren in Formula One and has a busy schedule, with the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal next weekend before he returns to Le Mans.
That'll be followed by the French, Austrian and British Grands Prix on consecutive weekends.
Le Mans 'rookie' drivers, including Britain's 2009 Formula One champion Jenson Button, must undergo a simulator session and complete at least 10 laps during the test day's two four-hour timed sessions in order to be allowed to qualify for the race. Qualifying starts on 13 June.Reuters