Alonso targeting Bathurst 1000 start

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Alonso targeting Bathurst 1000 start
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Mar 14, 2019, 2:58 AM

Fernando Alonso could race at the Bathurst 1000 as soon as 2020, with the jewel in the Supercars crown on the Spaniard's radar.

A Bathurst deal would likely see the two-time World Champion race for Walkinshaw Andretti United at Mount Panorama in either one of the team's two primary cars or a Wildcard entry.

The link between Alonso and WAU comes through team part owner Zak Brown, who says the interest from the ex-F1 star as genuine.

"He remains very interested in Bathurst," said Brown when asked about Alonso's Supercars ambitions by Motorsport.com.

"He wants to go and win all the big races, and he considers Bathurst to be one of those.

"I don't think you'll see him in 2019 but I wouldn't rule him out for the future.

"He's ticked the 24 Hours of Daytona box now, and he considers Bathurst to be a major sporting event.

"He thinks the cars are cool – he almost had a go but we ran out of petrol. I wouldn't be surprised to see him in one of our cars in the future."

Alonso's 'almost' Supercars test happened at Aragon in late 2017, plans for him to jump in an ex-Bathurst winning Holden Commodore – owned by Brown and housed in Europe – ruined when it ran out of fuel with Filipe Albuquerqe behind the wheel.

While Alonso's Bathurst outing won't happen until at least 2020, WAU is still eyeing a Wildcard entry for this year's Bathurst 1000.

Having gone close to making it happen last year, the team is now in talks with a new backer to support the ambitious plan, which would likely have IndyCar driver Marco Andretti in the line-up.

"All four of our IndyCar drivers would love to do it," said WAU part owner Michael Andretti.

"But first we've got to work on getting it right commercially and we'll make a choice on who comes down here.

"We're working on it, but we're not there yet."

Ryan Walkinshaw added that Bathurst is the priority for the Wildcard, but that it could be run over all three enduros.

"[Bathurst] is what we're looking at. But if the opportunity arises and we find a sponsor that wants to do all three... that would be exciting," he said.

"But at the moment let's focus on doing one and doing it properly, and then we can always go from there.

"If we manage to get something up and running and we get a successful Wildcard this year, it could open the doors for that to progress to more races in the following year.

"Let's take our first step before we try to run."

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