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Fernando Alonso picks up fourth world championship win

Fernando Alonso (2l) celebrates victory at Le Mans with teammates Sébastian Buemi (2r) and Kazuki Nakajima (r).
Fernando Alonso (2l) celebrates victory at Le Mans with teammates Sébastian Buemi (2r) and Kazuki Nakajima (r). / AFP
  • The Spaniard sealed victory in the World Endurance Championship with a first-place finish in the 24-hour Le Mans race

Fernando Alonso has now, as of Sunday, won four FIA world championships: one in karting (1996), two in Formula 1 (2005 and 2006) and now he can add the World Endurance Championship to the list.

The Asturian and his teammates Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima needed at least a seventh-place finish in 24-hour Le Mans race to secure the overall top spot but finished the race in first place.

However, it wasn't until there was just an hour to go when Alonso's number eight Toyota took the lead. Argentinian driver 'Pechito' López, in the sister Toyota, had been a convincing leader until the moment a tyre started to lose air as a result of a puncture.

The victory went to Toyota, which was never in doubt, but to the number eight car and not the seven, sealing both Alonso's second consecutive Le Mans win, but, most crucially, his first World Endurance Championship.

A victory like this in Le Mans will have aroused the attention of many world champions who have not achieved this feat. Now he has won his fourth FIA championship, this time shared with two drivers he already knew from his Formula 1 days, but who have now become members of his most direct circle.

Alonso's was the only Spanish podium at Le Mans. Antonio García, from Madrid, put in a solid perfomance in the number 63 Corvette, but an accident involving Jan Magnussen ruined the options of the 'King of Spain', as he was christened some time ago.

The other Spaniard in the race, also in the same class, was not so lucky: Miguel Molina, in AF Corse's Ferrari 71, didn't finish due to mechanical problems.