2018 F1

Alonso to race 24 Hours of Le Mans with Toyota’s LMP1 team

McLaren F1 driver, Fernando Alonso looks to be shaping up for a Le Mans foray in 2018. This year, the Spaniard tackled the Indy 500, which along with Le Mans and the Monaco grand prix is part of his goal of winning the famed ‘triple crown’.

It is already known that Alonso will race at Daytona early next year, as part of McLaren executive Zak Brown’s United Autosports entry.

And now the specialist sports car source Dailysportscar is reporting that the 36-year-old has this week been at Cologne for a seat fitting.

Earlier, Alonso was linked with a top LMP1 Toyota seat for next year’s Le Mans, and that possibility has now taken a step forward given arch rival Honda’s McLaren split.

A Toyota spokesperson said: “We have no comment on this speculation.”

But F1 rival Sergio Perez said Alonso’s plans to race outside of F1 are “great”.

“Obviously, Fernando is wanting to experience a lot, with Indy, the (Daytona) 24 hours and probably he might also think of Le Mans,” he said.

Two-time F1 champion Alonso will share one of the team’s Ligier cars with McLaren development driver Lando Norris, recent winner of the FIA European Formula 3 title, and established sportscar racer Phil Hanson.

“What an exciting and interesting project,” Alonso told McLaren. “Learning about a completely new racing category, adapting to a different car and to another style of driving and everything that goes with it, is a new challenge for me and I can’t wait to test myself again as a driver.”

The Spaniard expressed his goals relating to motorsport’s ‘Triple Crown’ (winning the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours).

“The Daytona 24 Hours is the most iconic US endurance race and one of the world’s great races,” he continued.

“Everyone knows it. It’s not part of the Triple Crown but, as I have always said, my aim is to be a complete driver and this experience will help me in the preparation for any other endurance race I might take part in.

“Before I went to Indy, I had never driven on an oval, now I know what an oval is and how to deal with it. I am excited to go back and race in America. After the great time I had during the month of May for the Indy 500, I am looking forward to taking part in another legendary race that will bring back all those amazing sensations that US fans gave me.”

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