Fernando Alonso wins Le Mans again and World Endurance title
Thirteen years after his second and final F1 title, Alonso is a world champion again as second Le Mans win clinches World Endurance Championship for him and Toyota team-mates Nakajima and Buemi
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 17/06/19 11:00am
Fernando Alonso has become a world champion again - this time in sports cars - after a second successive victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours clinched the World Endurance Championship title.
Alonso and Toyota team-mates Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi were on course to clinch the overall WEC crown with second place into the penultimate hour of the prestigious Le Mans race, but a double puncture for the long-time leading sister car, shared between Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez, swung the race in their favour.
Alonso's last motorsport championship came 13 years ago in Formula 1 when he won his second and final title.
"It is amazing to win Le Mans for the second time but the win came really unexpectedly," said Alonso. "We did not have the pace to win this race against car #7 on track. Today luck was a big factor and this is part of motorsport.
"I feel for my team-mates who are actually more than team-mates, they are friends. They would have deserved the victory, but the race chose us to win it. Our main goal was to win the World Championship and we are very proud that we have achieved this."
With the number eight Alonso-Buemi-Nakajima car winning by 17 seconds from the luckless number seven, Toyota claimed their second successive one-two at Le Mans. Russian entry SMP Racing finished third, with former McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne part of their line-up.
In the LMP2 class, Sky F1's Paul Di Resta was fourth and ninth overall as part of the lead United Autosports entry.
Having led the WEC standings since the new-look 'super season' began in May 2018, Alonso and his two team-mates ultimately clinched the overall Drivers' Championship by 41 points from the second Toyota.
Buemi, the former Toro Rosso driver and long-serving Red Bull test driver, is now a two-time WEC champion after previously winning the crown with Sky F1's Anthony Davidson in 2014.
Alonso's 2019 highs and lows
After deciding to step away from F1 after 18 years at the end of last season, the 37-year-old Spaniard has maintained a busy agenda with various types of racing and testing around the motorsport world.
He and his team-mates have won the three final WEC rounds of the 2018-19 season, while Alonso also triumphed in the Daytona 24 Hours in January.
However, his return to the Indy 500 in a bid to complete motorsport's triple crown last month ended in embarrassment for McLaren when the Spaniard failed to qualify for the race.
Alonso's varied year...
|January||Daytona 24 Hours||1st|
|March||1000 Miles of Sebring*||1st|
|March||Dakar Rally Testing||N/A|
|April||F1 Testing, Bahrain||N/A|
|May||6 Hours of Spa*||1st|
|May||Indy 500||Did not qualify|
|June||Le Mans 24 Hours*||1st|
Alonso has already confirmed he will not race in the WEC next season when the new campaign begins in September, with his 2020 motorsport plans still unknown.