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The Triple Crown of Motorsport

Progressing on from the Repco Garage’s story on Double Duty, two of the pillars in achieving the Triple Crown of Motorsport were held across the weekend.

An unofficial achievement in the world of racing, the Triple Crown of Motorsport is regarded as one of the most prestigious prizes achieved by winning the Indianapolis 500, Monaco Grand Prix and 24 Hours of Le Mans.

All part of world championship events at one stage in history, only one driver has been able to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport.

British driver Graham Hill is the sole driver to complete the Triple Crown of Motorsport by winning the first of five Monaco Grand Prix victories in 1963, which was followed by his famed Indianapolis 500 triumph with Lotus three years later before completing the set at Le Mans in 1972.

Hill’s first success in Monaco proved a stroke of luck after key rival Jim Clark retired due to a broken gearbox leading to victory for BRM.

Managing a hat-trick of Monaco Grand Prix victories from 1963-1965, Hill’s rookie triumph at the Indianapolis 500 was reminiscent of his first win in the principality as this time Jackie Stewart’s entry expired leading to the win.

The 1972 24 Hours of Le Mans completed the Triple Crown and was done in fairly easier circumstances than the previous two. Driving for Matra with French gun Henri Pescarolo, Hill took the flag 11 laps up on their nearest rival.

It’s been more than 50 years since Hill secured the Triple Crown of Motorsport and 19 drivers have achieved two of the three wins, the last being Fernando Alonso.

A dual Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship winner, Alonso won in Monaco back-to-back in 2006 and 2007, before winning Le Mans in 2019 for Toyota. The Spaniard made three attempts at the Indy 500, but fell short on each occasion to finish a best of 21st in 2020.

Juan Pablo Montoya is another to win two out of three albeit Le Mans is the one to tick off his list.

An alternate Triple Crown is also the World Drivers’ Championship, but Hill is the only one to secure each version.