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VIDEO: Alonso tests Dakar Rally machinery

VIDEO: Alonso tests Dakar Rally machinery

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VIDEO: Alonso tests Dakar Rally machinery

VIDEO: Alonso tests Dakar Rally machinery

Fernando Alonso looks set to take on the "formidable challenge" of contesting the famous off-road Dakar Rally. The Spaniard, who quit Formula 1 at the end of last year to chase the 'Triple Crown', is this week testing a Toyota Hilux in South Africa.

Alonso will try to take out the Triple Crown by winning the Indianapolis 500 with McLaren later this year, with Monaco GP and Le Mans 24 Hours victories already under his belt.

However, the two-time world champion has also targeted other prestigious races, with Dakar now seemingly on his radar.

"It was incredible," Alonso said of his first day testing in the Kalahari desert.

"We went faster and faster. We took confidence from it all even if it wasn't always easy to read the sand dunes, their height and how fast you can drive around them."

Alonso was in action alongside Giniel de Villiers, part of Toyota's successful Dakar team earlier this year.

"Fernando is now at a point in his life when he is open to any challenge," rallying legend and Dakar regular Carlos Sainz told Cadena Ser radio. "And Dakar is a formidable challenge."

If Alonso does take the bold step to Dakar, it will be with Toyota, for whom he has contested the World Endurance Championship, and won Le Mans last year.

"If Fernando comes, we could do a great job for him," Toyota's Dakar boss Glyn Hall told the Spanish daily Marca.

"It would be good for Toyota, good for our sport, good for the whole field. And Alonso would enjoy the challenge.

"Dakar is an incredibly difficult competition, but we know from formula one what a big fighter Fernando is," he added.

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