Alonso poised to announce 2018 Le Mans foray

Nov.11 (GMM) Fernando Alonso has refused to deny reports he will definitely contest the fabled Le Mans 24 hour race next year.

With an eye on motor racing’s famous ‘triple crown’, the Spaniard tackled the Indy 500 this year and is rumoured to have visited top Le Mans team Toyota’s Cologne headquarters last week.

It is believed he will test the Japanese marque’s LMP1 prototype in Bahrain next week.

Now, Marca sports newspaper claims that a 2018 Le Mans deal between the McLaren driver and Toyota is done.

“Yesterday I said we will see if there could be a possibility or not, but right now there is nothing,” Alonso said in Brazil.

“Nothing has happened from yesterday to today because I’m here, and nothing will happen in the next few days,” he added.

Yet another rumour is that Alonso will not only race at Le Mans, but run the entire world endurance championship season alongside F1 next year.

“If it was up to me I would race every weekend,” Alonso said. “I would just need McLaren’s permission.”

That appears unlikely.

McLaren team boss Eric Boullier said in Brazil: “I do not think you can do two complete programmes. Physically it’s too complicated.

“Le Mans, the Indy 500 or Daytona is possible because they’re isolated events, but two programmes is a great distraction when your priority commitment is formula one,” the Frenchman insisted.

As for Alonso saying he is seeking McLaren’s “permission”, Boullier answered: “Fernando said he is willing to do some races of the triple crown he wants to achieve.

“But the negotiations are case by case. Our job is to give him a great car in 2018 so he does not get distracted,” he added.

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