WEC chief on the impact made by Alonso: 'You have no idea'

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WEC boss Gerard Neveu admits having Fernando Alonso join the grid was a "massive" boost for the endurance series.

The two-time Formula 1 champion joined Toyota in 2018 primarily to attempt the Le Mans 24 Hours and add a second leg of motorsport's Triple Crown.

Not only did the Spaniard do that, not once but twice, but he also became WEC champion with the Japanese manufacturer alongside Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.

And Neveu explained how the interest Alonso's switch triggered from F1 fans and others helped offset the blow of Porsche pulling out of the LMP1 category, leaving Toyota as the dominant force.

“You have no idea, it’s massive. He’s one of the superstars, not only because he is a top driver, but because he has the personality and character,” he was quoted by Crash.net at the Autosport International event.

“The fact that he’s a guy who loves motorsport and just loves to drive, he said ‘my challenge is to win all the big championships I can win’, it was very interesting.”

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Alonso's impact was so big in fact, WEC rescheduled an event at Fuji to avoid clashing with F1 and Neveu spoke highly of the 38-year-old when it came to his approach.

“Very nice. [It was] very easy to work with him," he stated. “He shared the same passion. He has a lot of respect for the fans first. He’s not a political guy.

“He’s just focusing on that he loves to drive, and loves to share with the fans. That’s it. This is perfectly corresponding to the values of endurance sports car racing.”

F1 might be wondering if he was talking about the same Alonso!