Indy 500 is 'priority' for Alonso to complete Triple Crown

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<i>Image: CHARLES COATES / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP</i>
<i>Image: CHARLES COATES / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP</i>
CHARLES COATES / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Fernando Alonso has singled out as a "priority" next year's Indianapolis 500 as he tries to become only the second man in history to complete motor racing's Triple Crown.

Whilst the two time Formula 1 champion regards his upcoming debut in the Dakar Rally as a chance to savour the unique challenge of motor racing's toughest test, he left no doubt over what he expects from the Indy.

"My intention is to compete in the Indy 500 next year. It's the race I want to win now. It's the priority," he said.

Alonso, 38, returns to the fabled race after failing to qualify for the US motorsport showpiece last May.

Success at the Brickyard would emulate the feat accomplished by the late Graham Hill, the only driver to win the Triple Crown of the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans and the Indy 500.

First though the Spaniard is tackling the Dakar.

"I won't be the fastest there but I hope I'm in a good position at the finish," he said at Friday's FIA awards in Paris where he collected his World Endurance Championship crown.

He will drive for Toyota in the Dakar, staged for the first time in Saudi Arabia from January 5-17.

"Yes I'm going there to appreciate the experience and gain from it. I'm not thinking in terms of victory, I'm not ready for that. I'm fully aware of my lack of experience."

Alonso celebrated his second straight win at Le Mans in June, sharing the wheel of the victorious Toyota with Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.

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