Twice I have asked Juan Pablo Montoya if he had considered a Le Mans run and an attempt at the Triple Crown. First when he rejoined IndyCar with Penske and again at a reception held after his Indy 500 victory in May. Both times he brushed off the suggestion. Bemused that a driver wouldn’t want to take on the greatest challenge in racing and become only the second man in history after Graham Hill to achieve the feat of winning at Indy, Monaco and Le Mans, I even considered starting a petition to get JPM to La Sarthe.
As it turns out I may no longer need that petition. When speaking at the recent FIA World Motorsport Conference in Mexico City the subject of Le Mans and the Triple Crown came up yet again. This time straight from WEC front man Gerard Neveu, who wants to make it happen.
His acheivments and his character are fantastic and I am sure that, if he wants he can find a seat, in an LMP1 car, to fight for victory. We would really like to have a champion like him.
Montoya for his part wasn’t as enthusiastic as Neveu. For now the 39 year old Colombian’s loyalty lies with team boss Roger Penske and his focus is purely on this season’s IndyCar championship, which he leads by 54 points with just four races remaining. He did however, finally admit an interest in Le Mans and his desire to be counted alongside Graham Hill.
I race because I love it. At some point do I want to try and win the 24 hours? Yes. It’s hard to program yourself for the long term…but do I want to try and win it? Yes.
At last a spark of interest. For a man that has won the 24 Hours of Daytona, alongside his victories at Indianapolis and Monaco, a trip to Le Mans just makes sense. Here’s to hoping that when Juan finally hangs up the IndyCar helmet after another championship or two he will hop on a plane to France and gun for this history books. Just in case he needs a bit more convincing, I’ll happily find Gerard Neveu to sign that petition.