The two-time Formula 1 champion will make his Le Mans debut with Toyota alongside Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima in the No 8 TS050 Hybrid, chasing his aspirations of winning the ‘Triple Crown’ – Alonso will miss the October Fuji round as it clashes with the United States Grand Prix.
“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 the Indianapolis 500 last year, came close, but just missed out,” said Alonso. “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. In 2018, my aim is to be competitive at every Grand Prix, and I feel sure that we are closer to achieving that.”
McLaren executive director Zak Brown added: “It’s no secret that Fernando has wanted to contest the Le Mans 24 Hours. And 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 F1.”
Source: Motorsport Magazine