Fernando Alonso gets his biggest chance of winning for years. With Toyota, the Spaniard wants to win"24 hours in Le Mans"- and so get closer to the Triple Crown in motor racing, which consists of victories in the GP of Monaco (which Alonso won in 2006 with Renault and McLaren Mercedes in 2007), 24 Hours of Le Mans and Indy 500.
Toyota is the favorite in the 86th edition of the race for endurance with its prototype TS050 Hybrid, developing 1000 hp. Before the race, the private teams in the LMP1 top class were injured once more - as they were allowed to spend 108 instead of 110 kg of gasoline per hour in the race. And this affects the tempo. Toyota will win not only faster lap times but also increased mileage.
However, victory will not be given to Alonso's Trial. He is preparing for it with all his might. "I watched 16-hour onboard tournaments last year, incl. and the tour of Kamuy Kobayashi's polish,"explains the Spaniard. Apparently this helped him - since the preliminary tests became the first one, being only three tenths slower than Kobayashi in 2017.
Alonso's only real opponent would be his co-owner, as it was clear to the Spa. Rob Loppeen, Technical Director of the Japanese team, said:"It is a rule for us that whoever is ahead of the final standings remains the leader. No matter the pilots!"In the Toyota they know that a battle inside the team could be dangerous - especially in view of the fact that at the 20th start of the"hours"the Japanese giant can not boast of a single victory .
Alonso, however, will not be the only Le Mans champion in Formula One. This year the SMP team with BR-AER will drive Jenson Button. The Briton has no illusions:"If Toyota lost the race, it means that it made a huge mistake. And while many Le Mans teams will enjoy finishing, in mine I feel they want to win. And the opportunity is here."
With Alonso and Button for the first time in 21 years in the"Hours"there will be two world champions from F1. For the last time, it happened when Nelson Piquette (McLaren-BMW) and Mario Courage-Porsche were at the start. So far 13 F1 champions have tried out in the most prestigious race for endurance.