After winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Spanish driver entered into a dispute for the great distinction of motor sport, after the failed attempt of Juan Pablo Montoya
Fernando Alonso, a 36-year-old Spanish driver, won the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 17, one of the most important races in motor sport. Alonso competed for the Toyota Gazoo Racing team, in which he had great teammates for the relays, such as the Swiss Sébastien Buemi and the Japanese Kazuki Nakajima.
The three drivers gave Toyota its first win in the history of Le Mans after 35 years in the competition. "Winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans is still like a dream and it has been an incredible week. Now I'm starting to assimilate and I'm really looking forward to getting behind the wheel again to compete again," said Alonso in statements to McLaren, team of which he is part of Formula 1.
With this victory, at individual level, Fernando Alonso obtained the second of the three titles required to become worthy of the Triple Crown of Motorsports. The Spaniard became the second active pilot to qualify for the biggest unofficial distinction in world motorsport.
Alonso: a triumph of the Triple Crown of Motorsports
The motorsport world has an official recognition of the highest category: the Triple Crown of Motorsports, which is obtained by those riders who have won the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the same way, the title is accepted in the Formula 1 World Championship as an alternative to the victory in the Monaco Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso won the second of the three major titles with his victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, having already achieved two victories at the Monaco Grand Prix in 2006 and 2007. The Spanish driver also won the Formula 1 World Championship in 2005 and 2006.
That is to say, Alonso is one triumph away, that of the 500 Miles of Indianapolis, to achieve the coveted Triple Crown of Motorsports. This sporting milestone has been achieved by only one person in the history of the motorsport world: the British Graham Hill, who won the Indianapolis 500 in 1966, the Monaco Grand Prix in 6 opportunities between 1963 and 1969, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1972. Likewise, Hill won the Formula 1 World Championship in 1962 and 1968.
Fernando Alonso became the thirteenth driver in the history of motorsports in opting for the Triple Crown of Motorsports, having won 2 of the 3 most important races in the world. Similarly, Alonso is one of the only two active pilots, along with the Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, who still have options to get this huge recognition.
Juan Pablo Montoya: his inexperience took away the glory
The most famous Colombian driver of all time reached the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the possibility of getting the longed for Triple Crown of the Automobile, since he already has in his possession the triumph in the 500 Miles of Indianapolis. This title was achieved in 2000 and 2015, running for the Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske teams respectively. Similarly, Montoya won the Grand Prix of Monaco in 2003, running for the Williams-BMW team.
However, Montoya had never raced the 24 Hours of Le Mans throughout his career, so inexperience on the circuit was his biggest enemy. The Colombian ran for the United Autosports team and made relief team with the British Will Owen and the Swiss Hugo de Sadeleer, according to Diario Marca.
The debut of the Colombian at Le Mans was thunderous, as it collided with the protective walls, so the car had to be moved, which generated a great waste of time. "The relay has been good, although I made a mistake. I went long in Indianapolis and hit the barrier. I had a bit of understeer, I blocked the brakes and I got out", Montoya said in statements collected by the Marca newspaper.
Montoya and his team finished in seventh place, but a series of disqualifications from other teams left them at first in the fifth position and finally in the third position, that is, on the podium of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Spaniard Fernando Alonso approached the Triple Crown of Motorsports, and the Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya lost his first opportunity to go down in the history of motor sport. However, both pilots will continue their professional career with the clear objective of achieving the greatest recognition of the world motorsport.
Latin American Post | Javier Aldana
Translated from “Montoya no pudo: ¿Será que Fernando Alonso sí ganará la Triple Corona del Automovilismo?”