Spanish driver Fernando Alonso clinched the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) title when he and his two driver/teammates won the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Toyota TS050 Hybrid on Sunday.
Alonso drove the TS050 Hybrid with Switzerland's Sebastien Buemi and Japan's Kazuki Nakajima.
The two-time Formula One champion and his teammates repeated their triumph in the renowned French endurance race at La Sarthe, where they prevailed over another Toyota driven by Argentina's Jose Maria Lopez, Briton Mike Conway and Japan's Kamui Kobayashi.
"Things happen always; things always happen," Alonso told EFE. "And the truth is that the final lap becomes even eternal. Three minutes and a half to remain to the finish line; it was that way last year and this one."
The Spaniard and his teammates won the WEC, which came to an end on Sunday, piling up 198 points and putting themselves 41 points ahead of Lopez's team, which yielded the lead at Le Mans with one hour to go.
The victory gave Alonso his fourth world championship across all car races, having won the 1996 Karting World Championship and Formula One titles in 2005 and 2006.
"The team also has experience of losing the race with one minute to go," Alsonso said. "Toyota broke down in 2016 (with Japan's Nakajima behind the wheel). Every team has these things (in mind)."
"You have always to remain calm and I was happy and accepted the second spot which we deserved on the track, which would give us the title. I was calm at the motorhome ... I was eating and suddenly we saw the car No. 7 (Lopez's, Conway's and Kobayashi's car) starting to go slower and slower," Alonso told EFE after the awards ceremony.
"We saw that they had a double puncture and this condemns you to end second and then, as I say, the luck this time was on our side," Alonso said.
"There were other races and F1 championships that slipped through our fingers, inexplicably. So, today, it is time to enjoy the (victory)," the Spanish driver said.