Despite what a few naysayers may think, Fernando Alonso's appearance at the Le Mans 24 Hours was a huge positive for the race. And so was his victory.
Yes, he stole most of the headlines, but there were more of those headlines because the double Formula 1 world champion was in the classic French enduro. In short, he brought Le Mans and sportscar racing to a wider audience. Traffic on Autosport.com's Le Mans coverage was up 103% compared to 2017 - even though the Toyota versus Porsche LMP1 rivalry had been replaced by the near-certainty of a Toyota walkover.
IndyCar and World Endurance Championship organisers understand the scale of Alonso's appeal, which is why the WEC superseason calendar was changed to avoid the Fuji round clashing with F1. The respect Alonso has shown both the Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans has also been a boost, not only demonstrating his own abilities, but underlining that cracking these events is no easy task, even for a driver of his ability.