McLaren Racing confirms partnership with Chevrolet to use their engines for the 2019 Indianapolis event.
The Woking-based team announced Fernando Alonso’s return for the 2019 edition last month in the bid to complete the Triple Crown where he has already won Formula 1’s Monaco GP and also the Le Mans 24 Hours.
With the decision to move away from F1 for the time being, Alonso’s prime focus is to win the Indy500 and also secure the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship title with Toyota after winning the Le Mans race already.
McLaren decided to run independently under the guidance of Robert Fernley who is already in the United States as per Zak Brown to not only recruit personnel, but also secure an engine deal which they have now with Chevrolet.
Brown said: “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. 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.” The signing of the deal with Chevrolet became obvious after the strained relation between McLaren and Honda, which ended after 2017.
Chevrolet’s Jim Campbell said: “It’s exciting to partner with Fernando Alonso and McLaren for the 2019 Indianapolis 500. 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.”
McLaren’s Indy500 programme head Fernley added: “Our partnership with Chevrolet is a key piece of our plan for the 2019 Indy 500. As the reigning winning engine, the Chevrolet motor puts us in a strong position to contest this incredibly challenging event.
“We’ve quickly established a strong working relationship with the Chevrolet team, who are absolute professionals, committed to the challenge, and true racers.” The two brands re-unite after 47-years when they ran together in Can-Am.
Alonso recently sampled Jimmie Johnson’s Chevrolet’s NASCAR in a special car swap event at Bahain International Circuit, where the American drove the 2012 McLaren car. Alonso is also to compete in Daytona 24 Hours with Chevrolet’s sister brand Cadillac.
“It will be a privilege to wear the Bowtie Brand at the 2019 Indy 500,” said Alonso. “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 earlier this week in Jimmie’s NASCAR and I liked it! The opportunity to contest any Indy 500 is an honour, so I’m proud to have Chevrolet as part of the team.”