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Porsche dismisses Alonso Le Mans rumors for 2018

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SPA, Belgium – Porsche has dismissed suggestions that two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso could join its line-up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018, with its existing six-driver squad unlikely to change for next year.

Alonso announced last month that he would be entering this year’s Indianapolis 500 with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport as part of his push to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport, which also features the Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans.

A two-time winner in Monaco, Alonso has long expressed a desire to race at Le Mans, with attempts to enter in 2014 and 2015 being refused by Ferrari and McLaren respectively.

A report from Spanish newspaper Marca suggested that Alonso had already commenced talks with Porsche regarding a drive for 2018, but this was denied by its LMP1 team principal, Andreas Seidl, in Spa on Friday.

“At the moment it’s not on the table. We only have two cars, and I do not see that changing for next year,” Seidl said.

“With the six drivers we have, we are very very happy. And we plan long-term. So at the moment it is not something that is on the table. The topic is not available.

“It would have been easier in 2015 with the third car. We had talks there but it didn’t work out in the end. As I said, at the moment there is no options available.

“We have six drivers that are very well in contract. We plan long-term, always.”

Porsche currently fields Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer and Nick Tandy in its No. 1 919 Hybrid in the FIA World Endurance Championship, with Brendon Hartley, Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard sharing the No. 2.

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.