Happier days are coming for Fernando Alonso. After a miserable couple of years of slow and broken cars, the McLaren-Honda partnership will be ending at the end of the season. It is yet to be seen if the new Renault power will improve the team next season, but the big pile of cash Alonso just re-signed for is sure to soften the blow.
In addition to the hope of a better showing in F1 next season, Alonso looks to be taking the next step in pursuing a career goal of his: the Triple Crown of motorsports.
The Triple Crown includes the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24 hour race. He as already won the Monaco GP twice and, and tried his hand at Indy this past year, where he was running well before a (Surprise) engine failure. He has hinted that he may try his hand at the Indy 500 again, but the latest news is regarding the third leg of the crown: Le Mans.
ESPN reports that Alonso will run January’s 2018 Daytona 24 Hours race. He made it very clear that the race would be used as preparation for Le Mans, saying:
“As I said many times, the Triple Crown is the main thing. I know that the Indy 500 was a nice thing and I felt very competitive, but it was a big challenge that I took from zero, with no testing and no similar racing experience before the Indy 500 at any other oval, it was a big challenge. I was competitive and it felt good, but if I want to prepare for Le Mans maybe there are other possibilities to prepare Le Mans a little bit better [than I did for] the Indy 500.”
Dipping his toes into endurance racing after trying oval racing last year shows how serious he is about this triple crown business that has only been completed by one other driver in history: Graham Hill.