Alonso’s Triple Crown edges closer, with a drive for endurance racing’s lead team
Fernando Alonso will compete at the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours. That’s key, because it edges him a little closer to his fairly special target: motorsport’s Triple Crown, aka winning Le Mans, Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix.
The latter he’s ticked off twice, while he came close to glory at Indy 500 in 2017. It’s safe to assume he’ll have another go.
Bagging a Toyota LMP1 seat is definitely his best shot at Le Mans, the Japanese team being the sole manufacturer effort in the World Endurance Championship’s top class. If none of its cars finish first at Le Mans, defeat will have been snatched from the jaws of victory.
“Alonso will compete in all races that do not conflict with his Formula 1 duties,” says Toyota. So he’ll get more seat time in the No8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid he’ll share with Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima than WEC’s headline race. The championship is entering a ‘super season’ with Le Mans 2019 also included, so perhaps he’ll have two shots at it.
“I’ve never been shy about my aim of winning motorsport’s Triple Crown,” says Alonso. “This year, I have the chance thanks to McLaren to race for the win at Le Mans. It is a big challenge – much can go wrong – but I am ready, prepared and looking forward to the fight.
“My deal to race in WEC was only made possible through the good understanding and strong relationship I have with McLaren, and I’m very happy that they listened and understood what this means to me.
“In no way will this challenge take away from my main target of F1 with McLaren. In 2018, my aim is to be competitive at every Grand Prix, and I feel sure that we are closer to achieving that.”
Want to see Alonso join Graham Hill as the only Triple Crown winner? Fingers, toes and any other appendages crossed…
STORY Stephen Dobie