Supercars chiefs have pledged to move heaven and earth to get Fernando Alonso racing in the Bathurst 1000 after the two-time Formula One world champion showed interest in the great race.
Alonso, who beat Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher to titles in 2005 and 2006, could race at Mount Panorama in 2020 in a Commodore according to Zak Brown.
Brown is a co-owner of Supercars outfit Walkinshaw Andretti United and executive director of F1 team McLaren.
Speaking from Melbourne on Thursday, the motorsport heavyweight told journalists the Spaniard was « very interested in Bathurst ».
« He wants to go and win all the big races, » he said.
« He’s ticked the 24 Hours of Daytona box now, and he considers Bathurst to be a major sporting event. »
His comments pricked the ears of Supercars chief executive Sean Seamer, who said the possibility was being explored.
« We are in discussions with Zac (Brown) and Ryan Walkinshaw about getting Alonso to Bathurst, » he told AAP.
« Obviously we would love to have him out here and will do whatever we can to make it happen. »
It’s unclear whether Alonso would compete as a wildcard entry as a main driver or act as co-driver up with a regular series entrant.
This is not the first time Alonso has been close to a Supercar.
Alonso was keen to jump in the Commodore that Garth Tander and Nick Percat used to win the 2011 Bathurst 1000, now owned by Brown and based in Europe, at a test day in Spain last year.
Unfortunately, the previous driver ran out of fuel, leaving Alonso out of luck.
Supercars officials said they were delighted to be linked to a driver of Alonso’s calibre, but not surprised given the endurance classic’s enormous appeal.
Daniel Ricciardo only had good things to say about his trip around Calder Park in Rick Kelly’s Nissan Altima earlier in the week.
Max Verstappen also combined with Red Bull Racing stablemate Jamie Whincup for a lap in a Commodore on Thursday morning.