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Alonso says the Triple Crown is ON!

Alonso says the Triple Crown is ON!
Now Alonso sets his sights on Indy
As one of three drivers at the wheel of the Toyota TS050 Hybrid (joining Sébastien Buemi and Kaz Nakajima) from Gazoo Racing at this weekend’s running of the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans Fernando Alonso and his team led from pole and was the dominant car for virtually the entire 24 hours.

The win also brought Toyota its much overdue first win after many years of heartbreak, but the significance for racing history may be the stage it sets. The win catapults Alonso into the lead to become only the 2nd racing driver in history to win autoracing’s Triple Crown.
Le Mans, Fernando Alonso, Sébastien Buemi, Kaz Nakajima, Toyota, LMP1, Hybrid, Triple Crown
Juan Pablo Montoya, Le Mans, Fernando Alonso, Sébastien Buemi, Kaz Nakajima, Toyota, LMP1, Hybrid, Triple Crown

Juan Pablo Montoya is the only other active driver with wins in two of the three legs of the Triple Crown

With his Le Mans victory he joins Juan Pablo Montoya as the only two active drivers with wins in two of the three legs of Racing’s Triple Crown. Both men have victories at the Monaco Grand Prix. Montoya has a pair of Indy 500 wins, while Alonso now has Le Mans. Alonso raced Indy only once in his career, but was a legitimate threat to win it in his rookie outing in 2017. He qualified 5th, led 27 laps and was running 7th when his Honda engine gave up with 27 laps to go.

Graham Hill, Le Mans, Fernando Alonso, Triple Crown

Graham Hill – the only winner of autoracing’s Triple Crown. (photo by Lothar Spurzem – couresy of Wikimedia commons)

It’s clearly on his mind too. Following his Le Mans win on Sunday, Alonso was quoted as saying “Yeah, yeah, it’s true–the Triple Crown is on!” Expect to see him back at Indy — perhaps as soon as next year — trying to be the second driver to win the Triple Crown since Graham Hill accomplished it with his Le Mans win way back in 1972.

Updated: June 25, 2018 — 5:36 PM

2 Comments

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  1. Indy, Le Mans OK but…
    Must the third race be Monaco or any Formula One Grand Prix race?

    1. The official Triple Crown of Racing is considered winning the marquee event in each series. For American open-wheel racing (Indycar) it is (of course) the Indy 500. For sports car racing it is the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In Formula 1 it is the Monaco Grand Prix. While Monaco might not seem that much more important in the current F1 era, historically speaking it by far the most prestigious and so it is the one that completes the Triple Crown. Monaco is widely considered to be the most difficult of the three because of the exclusivity of even getting a competitive F1 ride. It is debatable whether Le Mans or Indy is the more difficult after Monaco. Le Mans often comes down to the team/car, while Indy is often a matter of luck.

      Alonso has won Monaco twice so he needs only the Indy win to complete the trifecta. Juan Pablo Montoya has won Monaco once and Indy twice, so he needs only a Le Mans victory. Alonso ran Indy for the first time in 2017 and led 27 laps before losing an engine. Montoya ran his first Le Mans in 2018 and finished 3rd in the LMP2 class (he’s also won the 24 Hours of Daytona 3 times so is a proven winner in endurance events.) Both have openly expressed an intent to return to run for the triple crown again. Given their talent and name recognition both will almost certainly be given top-tier opportunities to accomplish it.

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