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Fernando Alonso was clearly in the mood for racing at Le Mans, even offering to continue his night driving stint to his team saying he has the 'rhythm of the night'.

It was the No. 8 auto of Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima, and Sébastien Buemi that took the checkered flag.

The Toyotas controlled the race nearly from the very off, with the Number Eight vehicle - driven by Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso - looking the likely winners from the moment they overtook their Toyota team-mates just after 6am on Sunday morning.

Jenson Button, the 2009 F1 world champion, was competing in the non-hybrid LMP1 class for the Russian SMP team. It later turnout out that Kamui Kobayashi had simply forgotten to pit and was asked to conserve fuel to make it through the lap.

Victory means Alonso has now achieved the second part of the Triple Crown, adding victory at Le Mans to his two Monaco Grands Prix victories. It rejoined the race but retired with engine failure during the final hour. The vehicle finished two laps behind, after a missed pit stop and minor penalty slowed down the sister auto.

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In an era when modern drivers tend to specialise in one category, such is the demand of the individual championships, that it would be a remarkable achievement for Alonso.

Their work on reliability over the winter has paid off with no sign of the mechanical failures that had plagued the team since 2012. Former rivals Porsche and Audi pulled out after past year in the wake of the parent company Volkswagen's diesel scandal.

This year, he sought permission from McLaren to dovetail his F1 programme with an attempt to win Le Mans, which became an entry in the entire World Endurance Championship.

There have been questions about whether it was a demonstration rather than a race, because of the obvious promotional benefits for all involved if Alonso won.

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In 2016, Nakajima had also been heading for victory when he slowed with five minutes remaining and came to a halt with victory falling into Porsche's lap.

"It was a tense 24 hours, with two cars within a minute for most of the race".

Either way, the win is likely only to enhance his status as one of motorsport's iconic historical figures.

These questions will be hanging over him when he returns to his F1 role with McLaren at next weekend's French Grand Prix.

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