January 30, 2018 / 11:50 AM / 22 days ago

Motor racing-McLaren's Alonso to drive for Toyota at Le Mans

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Fernando Alonso will drive for Toyota in this year’s Le Mans 24-hour race and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), his McLaren Formula One team said on Tuesday.

The Spanish twice F1 world champion has been considering taking part in endurance events as he bids to emulate Graham Hill, the late Briton who won the Formula One world title, Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans in the 1960s.

“I’ve never been shy about my aim of winning motorsport’s Triple Crown – the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We tried for Indy last year, came close, but just missed out,” Alonso said in a statement.

“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.”

Following his appearance in the 24 Hours of Daytona last week, a deal has been reached with Toyota for the 36-year-old Alonso to take part in as many WEC rounds as possible.

McLaren and Alonso have agreed, however, that Formula 1 remains their shared priority and he will miss the Japanese leg of the WEC season on Oct. 21 due to it clashing with the U.S. Formula One Grand Prix. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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