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Kristensen: Alonso well-informed about Le Mans

Tom Kristensen

Sportscar racing legend Tom Kristensen believes Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso is already "very well informed about Le Mans" ahead of making his debut in the race this year.

It was revealed earlier this week that Alonso has agreed a deal to race in the World Endurance Championship for Toyota this year, which will include his first attempt at Le Mans alongside his full-time F1 commitments with McLaren.

The two-time world champion's decision has earned praise from Kristensen, who won the famous race a record nine times.

"Fernando is very well informed about Le Mans," said the Dane.

"I've talked to him a few times about it over the years, not least when he was the special guest starter in 2014.

"He has always shown great interest in the event, and when he saw the prototypes he found them incredibly fascinating.

"Now what he can look forward to most is the sensation of driving at night, being in the cars for three hours plus and pushing to find the zone.

Audi Le Mans 2013

"This challenge is absolutely wonderful. When you get into the rhythm and the car's performing there is simply nothing better.

"That's what I took from the world's greatest race. Of course I miss it when I'm back on the grid and you see that focus and determination from the drivers about to start the race, giving high fives and fist bumps to the mechanics.

"But I've turned 50 now so I can very easily walk away and watch - and this year will be no exception."

Kristensen, who retired from official competition in 2014 but is set to return to the track at this weekend's Race of Champions in Riyadh, said he has huge respect for Alonso's quest to be successful outside of F1.

"I admire the way Fernando goes about his racing because this shows he has a passion for motorsport as a whole and not only his career in Formula 1," he said.

"He's done Indianapolis and Daytona and now he's preparing for Le Mans.

"This kind of versatility was what I saw as I grew up, watching the greats from Mario Andretti to Jacky Ickx - then others who I competed against in many different kinds of racing.

"That's what I find so brilliant because it shows the true spirit of racing."

In The Zone: How Champions Think and Win Big by Clyde Brolin is out now RRP £8.99 (Blink Publishing)

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