Watch Fernando Alonso try the Dakar-winning Toyota Hilux

by Graham Keilloh on 28th March 2019

The two-time Formula 1 champion's latest outing is in Dakar-style rallying for Toyota, and you can watch how he got on

Nasser Al-Attiyah in a Toyota Hilux on the way to winning the 2019 Dakar Rally

Images courtesy of Toyota

Fernando Alonso this week ticked another box in his seemingly insatiable quest to drive every type of motor sport machine out there, by trying the Dakar Rally-winning Toyota Hilux in South Africa this week.

Le Mans winner and two-time Formula 1 champion Alonso drives in the World Endurance Championship for Toyota and got to sample its 2019-spec Hilux in the Kalahari Desert, around 900km from Johannesburg. The Hilux won this year's Dakar in the hands of Nasser Al-Attiyah.

Alonso was alongside 2009 Dakar winner Giniel de Villers and the Spaniard drove in several loops including significant dunes. And you can watch Alonso in action and hear his thoughts on the experience in the video below released by Toyota.

Alonso found it both enjoyable and a learning experience. "It felt different, but interesting," Alonso said. "The car accepts a lot more punishment than I'm used to. But yeah it was good fun."

Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima win the 2019 Sebring 1000km

"I can't teach him how to drive," added de Villiers, "he knows very well how to drive himself.

"It's just a case of he's got to get used to the car, he's got to get used to the terrain here, learn to read the bumps, learn to read the way you go over the dunes because that's something obviously he's not used to."

"We built the speed a little bit slowly,” Alonso added later, “lap after lap, and getting more confident, especially [with] the bumps, [they're] difficult to read, how high they are and how much speed you can carry.


More: Speaking to... Fernando Alonso


"But the car feels great, very good grip, good balance, good power and braking as well, so everything feels amazing, so [I'm] really happy.

"There has been definitely an evolution from myself from the very first run to now. The track also keeps changing, with the sun and the gravel, you make some grooves and you still need to adapt. So every run that we do is an improvement from myself and a new track that I discover so it's never-ending learning."

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