Fernando Alonso has the chance to break an 80-year-old record at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend – but the Spaniard’s focus chiefly lays with clinching a maiden FIA World Endurance Championship crown.

Alonso won on debut at Le Mans last year for Toyota alongside Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, completing the second part of the ‘triple crown of motorsport’ he is currently pursuing.

The ex-Formula 1 driver returns to Le Mans this weekend knowing a top-seven finish would be enough to secure the WEC drivers’ title alongside Buemi and Nakajima, having pulled out a 31-point lead over the sister Toyota crew last month at Spa.

Asked by Crash.net how much winning a second Le Mans in only his second attempt would mean and prove, Alonso downplayed its significance, saying his priority was securing the WEC title.

“I don’t think it will change much. Honestly, I would love to be world champion on Sunday night,” Alonso said.

“After winning Le Mans once, being world champion in endurance, it would be a nice thing to have - maybe even more than the two Le Mans wins.

“I think that is something that is not in our hands. If it was a six-hour race, maybe it was easier in a way to finish in the top seven, because we have the potential to finish in the top seven.

“But in Le Mans, it’s possible that you don’t finish the race, and if you don’t finish the race, it’s bye-bye to the championship. It’s a little bit out of our hands.

“Le Mans chooses who wins, and also in a way who wins the championship this year. Hopefully we did enough to deserve it.”

Were Alonso to win on Sunday at Le Mans, he would become the first driver in 80 years to hold a 100 percent win record at the Circuit de la Sarthe across multiple starts.

Currently, only Woolf Barnato (1928, 1929 and 1930) and Jean-Pierre Wimille (1937, 1939) hold perfect win records at Le Mans after returning to defend their titles.

Alonso is one of six drivers to have won the race on their one and only start to date, sitting alongside Tazio Nuvolari (1933), Luis Fontes (1935), Hermann Lang (1952), AJ Foyt (1967) and Renault F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg, who took victory with Porsche at Le Mans in 2015.

 

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