The rumours were true – two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso did indeed manage to test an LMP1 prototype for the Toyota Gazoo Racing team on Sunday, as part of a rookie test organised by the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

The Spaniard completed 113 laps of the Sakhir Circuit in Bahrain in the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, a day after the season-ending 6 Hours of Bahrain – won by Toyota with that very car. He logged a fastest time of 1 minute 43.013 seconds in the afternoon session, seven tenths of a second off the team’s regular driver Mike Conway, who managed to lap Sakhir in the #7 car in 1 minute 42.381 seconds.

According to Sky Sports, Toyota Motorsport GmbH technical director Pascal Vasselon said that none of the team’s drivers, which also included Sébastien Buemi and rising LMP2 star Thomas Laurent, attempted a quick lap at any point. “We did not do any low-fuel runs and we did not do any qualifying runs – there was no trophy today to win,” he said. “We’ve done a full tank all day long and working as much as we could.”

Vasselon added that he was impressed with Alonso’s stint in the car, but refused to comment about his future involvement with the team. “A very good job, very disciplined. No spins, no off-track, no damage on the car, which is the first target we give when they jump into a TS050,” he said.

“So all in all, good. We’ve done obviously a bit more work with Fernando. After getting familiar with the car he went this afternoon to do some tyre testing, complementing what Mike was doing on the other car.”

Alonso said, “It was a great day. Testing an LMP1 car is always a nice thing for any racing driver because these cars are amazing to drive. 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 has expressed his interest in securing the Triple Crown of motorsport, which includes the Monaco Grand Prix (he won it twice, in 2006 and 2007), the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500. He has already attempted the latter this year – leading for 27 laps before retiring with engine failure – and will contest his first endurance race, the 24 Hours of Daytona, in January.

Meanwhile, Toyota has its best shot yet at winning at Le Mans next year, after Porsche pulled out of the top LMP1 class in WEC. The Cologne-based Japanese team came close to taking the chequered flag last year, but a turbo failure put paid to the team’s ambitions just minutes before the end.