Indy 500 winner Juan Montoya has flirted with the idea of racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in recent years, and could be leaning towards adding his name to the roster of greats who’ve competed at the legendary endurance event. The Colombian’s list of major victories and accomplishments in IndyCar, NASCAR, Grand-Am, and Formula 1 place would be complemented with a victory at La Sarthe, and despite expressing indifference for the challenge in a conversation last year, the 39-year-old tells RACER his interest in tackling the world’s biggest race has grown.
“In the future, yeah, it’s something I want to do,” he said, “At some point, but right now, I have a full-time job with Roger Penske and that comes first.”
Montoya has won Indianapolis twice, Monaco once, and has a pair of overall wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. With Indy and Monaco victories on his resume, a win at Le Mans is all he’d need to join the late, great Graham Hill as the second driver to claim motor racing’s “Triple Crown,” but the eternally nonplussed JPM says he isn’t motivated by the allure of making history.
“No, that stuff has never really mattered to me,” he noted. “I just want to win. I don’t care what it is. Winning is all that matters to me.”
The timeline – and potential opportunities – for Montoya to make his debut at Le Mans will “Have to wait; as long as I’m doing IndyCar, there’s no chance,” but he is definitely interested in the LMP1-Hybrid class if a connection can be made. “Those cars now are really cool; they’d be amazing to drive,” he added.
Sahara Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg was the most recent driver to conquer Le Mans on his debut (LEFT), which serves as a reminder that with the right team, JPM has a decent chance of finding success as a Le Mans rookie.
“[Tom] Kristensen also won it as a rookie, so I know it can be done,” he said. “Hulkenberg winning didn’t really change anything for me, but it shows you have to be with the right team to give yourself a chance. There’s no reason to do it just to do it. If I can do Le Mans, I want to have a chance to win. That’s the reason why I race.”