Fernando Alonso showed solid pace as he got to grips with a Le Mans prototype car for the first time in a one-day test with Toyota in Bahrain.
The McLaren F1 driver completed 113 laps at the wheel of the TS050 Hybrid, his best time of one minute 43.013 seconds within seven tenths of regular Toyota driver Mike Conway.
“It was a great day,” said Alonso. “These cars are amazing to drive.”
The Spaniard, 36, is set to race for Toyota in the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Alonso visited Toyota’s factory in Cologne, Germany, on Tuesday for a seat-fitting and simulator session, and his test in Bahrain came as part of a ‘rookie’ session at the Sakhir Circuit held at the end of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) season.
“Testing an LMP1 car is always a nice thing for any racing driver,” said Alonso. “They are very consistent throughout a stint which is a positive thing.
“I have wanted to test a car like this for a long time now and today I could achieve that so I am happy.”
Alonso’s talks with Toyota have extended to the possibility of the driver taking part in most of the WEC campaign in 2018, alongside his F1 commitments with McLaren.
The move is the latest development in Alonso’s attempt to win the so-called triple crown of motor racing – the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans, which only 1962 and 1968 Formula 1 world champion Graham Hill has so far achieved.
Alonso, who won at Monaco in 2006 and 2007, competed at Indy this year and was running competitively when his engine failed in the closing stages of the race.