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Alonso Heading Back To Indianapolis in ’19

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Tuesday, December 4 2018

Fernando Alonso and McLaren will be back at the Brickyard in 2019. (Photos courtesy of INDYCAR)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso will pay a return visit to the Indianapolis 500 next year it was announced on Tuesday.

The Spanish driver will drive a Chevrolet Powered car and be sponsored by McLaren, the company for which he has driven in Formula 1.

Alonso won F1 championships in 2005 and 2006, and is sixth all-time in the series with 32 victories and 97 podium finishes.

The 37-year-old driver has said he is determined to win auto racing’s world-wide triple crown of Monaco in F1, Le Mans in sports cars and the 500. The Indy race is all that remains from him to conquer.

In his first attempt at Indy, Alonso qualified fifth and led 27 laps but suffered an engine failure after completing 179 of the 200 laps.

That effort came with Honda power behind him in an Andretti Autosport enty. But because he is driving a Toyota Hybrid in sports cars, he is turning to Chevy for next year’s Indy 500.

“I had a bit of a taste of Chevy power last week in Jimmie Johnson’s NASCAR and I liked it,” he said. “The opportunity to contest any Indy 500 is an honor, so I’m proud to have Chevrolet as part of the team.”

In 1966, Chevrolet and McLaren partnered in the Can-Am Series, where the teams won over 70 percent of the races over the next seven years – including 23 in a row from 1968-1970.

“McLaren and Chevrolet have a shared pedigree in North American motorsport and the opportunity to reunite the two brands for this special event was just too good to pass up,” said Zak Brown, Chief Executive, McLaren Racing. “Like McLaren, Chevrolet has racing in its heart. The company’s reputation in IndyCar and at this special race is first-class and they will be a powerful partner.”

With his win in at Le Mans in 2018, Alonso became one of only 13 drivers to win two of the three legs of the triple crown. He would join Graham Hill as the only drivers to complete the triumvirate with a victory in next year’s Indianapolis 500.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Tuesday, December 4 2018
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