Two-time Formula 1 champion Alonso hopes the orange McLaren will secure the triple crown at May’s Indy 500
McLaren has unveiled the car that Fernando Alonso will compete with at this year’s Indianapolis 500 in his quest to complete motor sport’s ‘triple crown’.
Two-time Formula 1 champion Alonso has stepped away from F1 racing this year to concentrate on the Indy 500. If he wins the American blue riband race he would become only the second driver in history, after Graham Hill, to win the Indy 500, Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans 24 Hours – and the first to secure the world championship plus victory at Le Mans and Monaco since Hill.
The car, which was built at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, is in McLaren’s traditional papaya orange, and sports the number 66 in homage to the number run by Mark Donohue for McLaren’s first Indy 500 victory in 1972.
Alonso has taken part in the Indy 500 once before, in 2017 with a McLaren-Andretti Autosport entry. He ran among the leaders before retiring with 21 laps remaining due to an engine failure; Alonso was still named the race’s ‘Rookie of the Year’.
The McLaren Indy 500 race car is currently en route from the UK to the US ahead of the open test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 24.
There also is a sister test car which Alonso will drive at a closed test at the Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, having also driven a Dakar Toyota Hilux, McLaren’s F1 car and Toyota’s World Endurance Championship entry in the space of two weeks.
“I’m excited we are finally able to reveal to the world the no66 car which I’ll be racing with McLaren at the Indy 500 in May,” Alonso said.
“The team at the McLaren factory has worked very hard to build this car ready for our return to the iconic Brickyard and I think it looks fantastic in the 2019 McLaren Racing colours.
My hopes for the race remain the same, to win and achieve the Triple Crown, and I’m looking forward to meeting the fantastic US fans who made me feel so welcome first time around.”
“The reveal of the no66 car and livery is an important moment for McLaren Racing’s journey to the Indianapolis 500,” added McLaren boss Zak Brown.
“It represents the beginning of the next phase of our programme, and reflects a tremendous amount of hard work by our specialist Indy 500 team at the McLaren Technology Centre. We are all looking forward to seeing the no66 out on track for the first time on April 24.”