Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will compete in the 2019 Indianapolis 500 in a McLaren Racing entry powered by Chevrolet’s 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 engine, the manufacturer announced Tuesday. Chevy helped Will Power to victory in 2018 for its third Indy 500 title since its 2012 INDYCAR introduction.
“It will be a privilege to wear the Bowtie Brand at the 2019 Indy 500,” Alonso said. “Having Chevrolet power behind me means we’re putting ourselves in the best possible position to compete at the front. I had a bit of a taste of Chevy power last week in Jimmie Johnson’s NASCAR and I liked it! The opportunity to contest any Indy 500 is an honor, so I’m proud to have Chevrolet as part of the team.”
Alonso won F1 championships in 2005 and 2006, and is sixth all-time in the series with 32 victories and 97 podium finishes.
“It’s exciting to partner with Fernando Alonso and McLaren for the 2019 Indianapolis 500,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Fernando brings incredible driving talent, and a passion for the sport and winning the biggest races in the world. When Fernando is on track, it’s electric. He generates excitement among fans everywhere.
“Chevrolet and McLaren have a storied racing history dating back to the mid-1960s, so it will be special to partner with McLaren at the 2019 Indianapolis 500.”
In 1966, Chevrolet and McLaren partnered in the Can-Am Series, where the teams won more than 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 the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier this year coupled with his win at Monaco in 2006, Alonso became one of only 13 drivers to win two of the three legs of motorsports’ Triple Crown. He would join Graham Hill as the only drivers to complete the treasured triumvirate with a victory in next year’s Indianapolis 500.
Since Chevrolet’s return to IndyCar Series competition seven seasons ago, drivers powered by the Chevy have captured victories in 73 of 118 races. Chevrolet has won the coveted INDYCAR Manufacturer Championship six times and the series’ driver and owner championships five times.
The 2019 Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 26. Tickets for all month of May events in 2019 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including the sixth annual INDYCAR Grand Prix and the 103rd Indianapolis 500, are on sale now at IMS.com and the IMS ticket office.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!