Entering Le Mans for a shot at the Triple Crown? Montoya “would think about it”

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Juan Pablo Montoya has admitted that he would consider racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for a shot at the prestigious ‘Triple Crown of Motorsport’ if the conditions were right.

The Verizon IndyCar Series leader is a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, and has also won the Monaco Grand Prix, making Le Mans the only event he is missing from the Triple Crown.

Graham Hill is the only driver to have won all three races. The Briton’s first Monaco victory came in 1963 before winning at the Brickyard three years later. He then won at Le Mans in 1972.

In the modern era, drivers switching between disciplines has become increasingly uncommon, making Montoya the only active racer to have completed two of the three legs of the trifecta.

Speaking at the FIA Sport Conference in Mexico City this week, the Colombian admitted that his thoughts on Le Mans have changed in recent years, but he would only give it a shot in the right car.

“Five years ago, I couldn’t care,” Montoya said.

“Today? Maybe if I had a shot to be in the right car, I would think about it.

“But I’m so happy in IndyCar right now. I really love what I do. I love racing for Roger [Penske].”

Ahead of this weekend’s ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile, Montoya leads the IndyCar standings by 46 points from Penske teammate Will Power. You can read our full preview of the race here.

Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.

“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”

Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.

The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.

Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.

Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.

Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.

Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.

Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”