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Juan Pablo Montoya to race in first 24 Hours of Le Mans, looks to capture motorsports’ triple crown

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Juan Pablo Montoya has a pretty full racing resume as it is:

* two-time Indianapolis 500 winner (2000 and 2015)

* won 10 races in two seasons in CART, including the 1999 championship

* raced seven-plus seasons, had four top-10 finishes in the Daytona 500, and won two races in NASCAR Cup and one in the Xfinity Series

* earned five wins in 53 starts in the Verizon IndyCar Series

* won seven races in 94 starts in Formula One

* won 3 races in 8 starts in the Rolex Grand-Am Series

But there’s always been something missing for the now 42-year-old native of Bogota, Colombia, who is in his first full season of racing for Acura Team Penske in the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship.

That one missing part is to race – and he hopes to win – the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

He’ll finally get that chance June 16-17 this year in a one-off start for United Autosports, joining Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer behind the wheel of the No. 32 LMP2 Ligier JS P217 in the internationally renowned endurance race.

Even though this will be his first attempt in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, he has a pretty good record in other first-time tries. He’s the only driver in motorsports history to win the Indy 500, the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and CART championship in his first try.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to experience Le Mans, and I’m looking forward to joining United Autosports after they had such a strong finish at Le Mans last year,” Montoya said in a media release.

He has added incentive: a win would give him the unofficial triple crown of motorsports, having previously won the first two legs: the Monaco Grand Prix in Formula One and the Indianapolis 500 in IndyCar. If Montoya does win at Le Mans, he’ll be in rather select company: legendary racer Graham Hill as the only triple crown winner to date.

“I’ve always watched the race, so I’m very happy to finally be part of it,” Montoya said. “Hopefully we can have a shot at a win.”

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NBCSN will present ‘Race and Sports in America: Conversations’ Monday

NBCSN
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With motor racing reckoning with its own issues of diversity and equality, “Race and Sports in America: Conversations” will tackle the topics of social justice with several athletes. The show will air at 8 p.m. ET Monday, July 13 on NBCSN, Golf Channel, Olympic channel and on regional sports networks.

The roundtable discussions will be hosted by Damon Hack and feature Charles Barkley, Steph Curry, Jimmy Rollins and Ozzie Smith in one segment. The other segment will include Kyle Rudolph, Anthony Lynn, Troy Mullins and James Blake.

Race has been a major topic in motorsports this year.

NASCAR banned the Confederate flag at its race after lobbying by Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in the premier Cup Series. In Formula One, six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton has joined Black Lives Matter marches in London and also formed a panel on diversity. The lone Black driver in F1 also led 14 of 20 drivers taking a knee before the season opener in Austria.