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The Formula Behind Toyota's Unrivaled 24 Hours Of Le Mans Bid

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Up until now, discussion of Alonso's significance to Toyota has grown stale with incessant media coverage and hearsay—but that doesn't make it any less essential in what could be the most historically important European race. 

Alonso is a tremendously-accomplished well-established competitor who's won at Monaco and competed at Indy with more attempts likely in the future. His worldwide notoriety always rides on the coattails of whatever team he's driving for, and in the case of Toyota, that's exactly what's needed to push its efforts into the stratosphere. Success, talent, and yes, even sex appeal, are proving vital to the days leading up to another crack at the coveted P1 finish.

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Much like the patron saint he's viewed as by the masses, Alonso pledges to lift "the curse" that has plagued Toyota and its congregation in years past. That's not to say that his stablemates aren't Grade-A competitors, (Kobayashi still holds the lap record at la Sarthe from his blitzing run in qualifying last year,) but instead that Alonso will take on the challenges that Mike Conway, Sebastien Buemi, and others in the crew's stable have been dealing with in the last two years.

Alonso told reporters at Le Mans this week, “It’s very special to drive for Toyota, this team, with its experience. We know how competitive we can be. It’s still going to be a challenge to win the race, Toyota hasn’t won here before, but we are committed to change history, and this year we are as prepared as we could be. We’ve done good winter testing, good endurance runs. We hope we can do well this weekend.”

That quote stings with humility, a trait that Alonso possesses in lieu of braggadocious confidence. 

As the Spaniard mentioned, he doesn't feel like Toyota is all alone at the front of the field. He re-asserted this by continuing, "I think this year is the best Le Mans. Normally there are four cars fighting, but this year there are 10 ... The people that say there are two this year, I think they’ve never watched the 24 Hours."

That may or may not be an overly-generous comment; Alonso's is a complex situation in a chess match. Just look back to the FIA World Endurance Championship season-opener at Spa.


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Source : http://www.thedrive.com/accelerator/21504/the-formula-behind-toyotas-unrivaled-24-hours-of-le-mans-bid

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