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After winning Daytona and Sebring, Alonso will aim for the ‘triple USA’ in Indianapolis

After winning Daytona and Sebring, Alonso will aim for the ‘triple USA’ in Indianapolis

The Spanish Fernando Alonso, who started the year with a triumph at the 24 Hours of Daytona and won the Thousand Miles of Sebring, will seek a new victory in the United States in May, in the Indianapolis 500, his great goal of 2009, which, after winning in Monaco and Le Mans (France), it would bring him the ‘Triple Crown’ of motorsport.

The Asturian F1 double world champion -author, during the 17 seasons that he played in the premier class, of the 32 victories that Spain has in all its history- will seek, after winning this year in two of the three ‘USA circuits’ of greater solera, a third triumph in the United States, in a third different championship: in the famous oval of the ‘Brickyard’ in Indiana.

At the end of January, Alonso won, aboard a Wayne Taylor Racing team Cadillac – which he shared with the Japanese Kamui Kobayashi, the American Jordan Taylor and the Dutch Renger Van Der Zande – the 24 Hours of Daytona, the race that opened the IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) championship and whose second round, the 12 Hours of Sebring, was held this Saturday on the legendary track where the Asturian had won the day before, with a Toyota TS050 Hybrid, in the sixth round of the World Endurance.

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Fernando, who had barely ridden on the old and bumpy track that, in 1952, hosted the first endurance race held in the United States, was exhibited on the circuit built on an airfield that was the base for training during World War II, the Hendricks Army Airfield. In which, rolling at night, on Thursday he broke the historical record of return; and where on Friday (early Saturday morning, in Spanish time) he reinforced his leadership at the head of the WEC by winning the 1,000 Sebring Miles together with the Swiss Sebastien Buemi and the Japanese Kazuki Nakajima.

Alonso leads the Endurance World Cup with 15 points over the other Toyota, that of Argentine José María ‘Pechito’ López, after signing his third victory in the WEC, in Sebring. A town located in the interior of Florida, about 225 kilometers south of Daytona, which, unlike the previous one, overlooks the sea, the Atlantic Ocean.

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“I hope the streak continues in America and also wins in Indianapolis,” the brilliant Asturian driver told Efe after winning at Sebring, who will now be able to focus on preparing for the 500-mile test, which will take place on May 26 with a McLaren Powered by Chevrolet at the Indiana Oval. Where a victory would qualify him, after having won (twice) the Monaco F1 Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to the ‘Triple Crown’ of motorsport. Something that to date has only been achieved by English Graham Hill, who died in 1975, at the age of 46, in a plane accident.

For this, Alonso – who before competing Sebring exercised in the Indy simulator, in Charlotte (North Carolina) – will shoot at the beginning of April, in the Texas tests; and, at the end of that month, in which they will take place at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

But before the 500 Miles, the Asturian genius will compete in the penultimate round of the WEC, the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, on May 4, on the no less mythical Belgian track of the Ardennes. Where it could sentence the World Endurance Championship with a victory, as long as the (unlikely, but not impossible) circumstance occurs that the other Toyota does not finish the test.

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The Spa and the 24 Hours of Le Mans -in June-, the two tests that are repeated in the WEC ‘Super-season’, will close the Endurance World Cup. A championship whose chief executive, Frenchman Gerard Neveu, would be “delighted” that Alonso – whom he considers “one of the best drivers in the entire history of motorsport” – would continue to compete.

“When you have a jewel like this in your garages, you feel very happy,” he explained to Efe in Sebring Neveu. “He is a great champion and is in such a high position that he allows him to make his own decisions. Wherever he decides to go, they will always put the red carpet for him, “he said, regarding Alonso, the WEC boss. EFE

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