Date: 12th April 2017 at 5:53pm
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Fernando Alonso has announced that he wants to win both the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hour race before his career is over.

The 35-year-old on Wednesday made a blockbuster announcement that he would not be taking part in the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix, a race that he has previously won twice.

The decision to miss the race was made in order for Alonso to take part in the 2017 Indianapolis 500.

He will race for Andretti Autosport team in a McLaren Honda branded Indy Car.

McLaren and Andretti share long ties with founder Michael Andretti a former team-mate of Ayrton Senna for McLaren in 1993.

The McLaren-Honda-Andretti partnership will see Alonso get into a Dallara DW12 chassis [as used by all IndyCar teams], powered by a Honda 2.2-litre twin-turbo V6.

The Indianapolis 500 was first held in 1911 and due to no races being held during both World War I and World War II, the 100th running of the Indy 500 was held in 2016.

It’s known as part of the Motor Sport Triple Crown which includes the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and the Le Mans 24 Hours race.

Alonso will be bidding to become the 10th rookie to win the event, following in the footsteps of former Formula One racers Graham Hill, Juan Pablo Montoya and Alexander Rossi.

Ultimately however it is Graham Hill’s footsteps Alonso wants to follow to become only the second racer in history to claim the Triple Crown.

?I?m immensely excited that I?ll be racing in this year?s Indy 500, with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport.

?The Indy 500 is one of the most famous races on the global motorsport calendar, rivalled only by the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Monaco Grand Prix.
Alonso told mclaren.com.

?I?ve never raced an IndyCar car before, and neither have I ever driven on a super-speedway, but I?m confident that I?ll get to grips with it fast. I?ve watched a lot of IndyCar action on TV and online, and it?s clear that great precision is required to race in close proximity with other cars on the far side of 220mph [354km/h]. I realise I?ll be on a steep learning curve, but I?ll be flying to Indianapolis from Barcelona immediately after the Spanish Grand Prix, practising our McLaren-Honda-Andretti car at Indy from May 15th onwards, hopefully clocking up a large number of miles every day, and I know how good the Andretti Autosport guys are. I?ll be proud to race with them, and I intend to mine their knowledge and expertise for as much info as I possibly can.

Alonso concluded: ?I?ve won the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and it?s one of my ambitions to win the Triple Crown, which has been achieved by only one driver in the history of motorsport: Graham Hill. It?s a tough challenge, but I?m up for it. I don?t know when I?m going to race at Le Mans, but one day I intend to. I?m only 35: I?ve got plenty of time for that.?

Interest in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing will now be higher than usual in Europe.

If you are new to Indy Car racing and in the United Kingdom, then the series is shown on BT Sports stable of channels.

BT Sport 1, 2, 3 and BT Sport ESPN are shown on channels 427, 457, 433 and 458 and Sky satellite.

On Virgin Media it’s 527, 528, 529 and 530.

On BT it’s 430, 431, 432 and 433.

McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown added: ‘I?m particularly delighted to have been able to bring McLaren back to Indianapolis in my very first year as McLaren?s Executive Director.

‘our car ? the McLaren-Honda-Andretti ? will be decked out in the papaya orange livery made famous by our founder Bruce McLaren, and in which Johnny Rutherford drove McLaren IndyCars to Indy 500 victory in both 1974 and 1976.

 

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