INDIANAPOLIS — Fernando Alonso will be powered by Chevrolet for his second attempt to win the Indianapolis 500.
Alonso is entering the race with McLaren, which had a 70 percent win rate from 1968 to 1970 when partnered with Chevrolet that included 23 consecutive victories. The IndyCar Series currently has only two engine providers, Chevrolet and Honda, but McLaren has a strained relationship with Honda.
The Honda problems made it difficult for McLaren to find a partner for Alonso’s latest attempt to win the “Triple Crown of Motorsports.” Alonso was powered by Honda and drove in a McLaren alliance with Andretti Autosport when he raced at Indy in 2017. He led 27 laps until his engine expired.
The retired Formula One champion won the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year and the Monaco Grand Prix in 2006. Indianapolis is the final race the Spaniard needs to join Graham Hill as the only drivers to have won all three.
Bobby Rahal has driven in some of the biggest races in the world, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24 Hours and, of course, winning the Indianapolis 500 as a driver in 1986 and in 2004 as a team owner.
But winning the 12 Hours of Sebring two years in a row (1987 and 1988), Rahal feels, is right up there in terms of his greatest accomplishments as a race car driver.
As IMSA celebrates its 50th anniversary, Rahal reflected on what racing at Sebring International Raceway has meant to him:
“To me, Sebring is the ultimate endurance race. Not as long as Daytona or Le Mans, but the demands put on a car and driver at Sebring are highly unusual.
“My father raced at Sebring in the late 60’s. To win that race two years in a row really meant something to me.
“While we’ve won a lot of other races, we’ve won just about everywhere, you name it. But for me personally, winning at Sebring those two years in a row was very special.”