This weekend will see both the Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix being contested on Sunday. These two events, combined with the 24 Hours of Le Mans form the Triple Crown of Motorsport, an unofficial motorsport achievement.
Although there are different Triple Crown’s in motorsport, none quite encompass a range of skills and different forms of racing than the oval of the Indy 500, the endurance of the Le Mans 24 hour and the twisting circuit of Monaco. These three events are also considered to be some of the most prestigious events in motor racing.
Only one driver has ever achieved the Triple Crown, Graham Hill, who won the Indy 500 in 1966, the Le Mans 24 Hour in 1972 and the Monaco Grand Prix five times during the sixties. Other drivers have achieved two parts of the Triple Crown, these include Bruce McLaren, Juan Pablo Montoya and A. J. Foyt.
It is difficult to achieve the feat today as the events often clash with each other, as they do this weekend, and with other events such as IndyCar’s Honda Indy Toronto race which clashes with the 24 Hour of Le Mans this year. There can be the added difficulty of teams not allowing their drivers to compete in other racing series.
However, in a sport where people attempt to justify the greatness of drivers by how many races and championships they have won in a particular series, perhaps it is time for more to look towards the Triple Crown of Motorsport as a true measure of how great drivers really are, and potentially try and turn it into an official motorsport achievement.