Alonso set for Le Mans outing

30 January 2018 07:15:17 EST

McLaren have confirmed that Fernando Alonso will participate in the Le Mans 24 Hours with Toyota in 2018.

The two-time Formula 1 champion was given special dispensation to miss last year's Monaco Grand Prix in order to race in the Indianapolis 500, while he has made no secret of his desire to take part in Le Mans.

Alonso is keen to complete the motorsport 'triple crown' of winning the Monaco GP, which he already has twice, the Indy 500 and Le Mans, which has only been achieved by Graham Hill to date.

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.

Fernando Alonso

The 36-year-old came close in last year's Indy and is now looking to win Le Mans with Toyota, while he will also take part in all of the other World Endurance Championship races except for the Japanese round which clashes with the F1 United States Grand Prix in October.

Alonso said: "We tried for Indy last year, came close, but just missed out.

"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 Formula 1 with McLaren."

McLaren executive director Zak Brown added: "It's no secret that Fernando has wanted to contest the Le Mans 24 Hours. I think everybody within our organisation appreciates that a motivated, hungry and happy world-class driver such as Fernando is a formidable asset for any team in F1.

"Last year, we came to the joint decision to go racing with Fernando at the Indy 500 rather than at the Monaco Grand Prix. But we've always said that we would consider each opportunity on a case-by-case basis, and we both know that, in 2018, our core priority is success in Formula 1."

Alonso is 4000/1 to win the 2018 F1 drivers championship, while reigning champion Lewis Hamilton is 1/500 to reatin his title for Mercedes.

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