Fernando Alonso will have his first run in the jointly entered McLaren, Honda, Andretti Autosport entry in a one-day test on Wednesday, May 3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, ahead of his debut in the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
The two-time Formula 1 World Champion will be there a few days after his next F1 race at the Russian Grand Prix which takes place on April 30. He will make his first visit to the Andretti team this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.
The test will take place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) on the 2.5-mile oval. This will be the first career laps on an oval for him, and as such, why he’s getting an extra day whereas fellow Indianapolis 500 rookies Ed Jones, Jack Harvey and Zach Veach will have the standard rookie orientation program later in May as all three have raced on ovals in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series. Alonso, as a rookie, is required to complete the ROP as well.
Fans can watch testing for free from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. from the Turn 2 viewing mounds, Museum parking lot and South Terrace Grandstands.
In an interview on “Trackside” with NBCSN pit reporter Kevin Lee and INDYCAR communications chief Curt Cavin on 1070 The Fan radio, McLaren executive director Zak Brown said Alonso and IMS had a date set but not yet revealed.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.