Fernando Alonso to Drive for McLaren at This Year’s Indy 500

Fernando Alonsois back in the race…

The 38-year-old Spanish race car driver will race at this year’s Indy 500 with McLaren‘s new IndyCar team.

Fernando Alonso

It’ll be Alonso’s third attempt to win the famous race, the final part of a ‘Triple Crown,’ which includes the Monaco Grand Prixand Le Mans 24 Hours. He has won both the other events on two occasions.

Were Alonso, who won the Formula One World Championshipin 2005 and 2006 for the Renaultteam, to achieve the feat, he would become just the second driver to do so, following Graham Hill‘s success in the 1960s.

Alonso drove for McLaren’s Formula Oneteam on two occasions, in 2007 and an infamously uncompetitive stint between 2015 and 2018. He stepped away from F1at the end of the latter spell and is yet to return.

“I am a racer and the Indy 500 is the greatest race in the world,” Alonso said.

“I have maximum respect for the race and everyone who competes in it, and all I want is to race against them and give my best.”

Alonso attempted to win the Indy 500 with a poorly-managed McLaren entry last year. A catalogue of errors culminated in the two-time F1 champion failing to qualify for the event.

He fared better on his debut in the race in 2017, qualifying fifth and leading a chunk of the race until an engine issue ended his race prematurely.

McLaren has stepped up its involvement in the series, entering a full-time outfit called SP Arrow McLaren for 2020. Alonso will partner the team’s full-time drivers, Pato O’Ward and Oliver Askew, for the event.

Alonso will race the team’s Chevrolet-powered car, having been blocked in his attempts to race for aHondaoutfit. 

Alonso was scathingly critical of the Japanese manufacturer during his final stint at McLaren and it has since decided he will never race one of their cars — he since won the Le Mans 24 Hours and World Endurance Championshipwith Toyota, a Honda rival.

Fernando Alonso Open to Returning to Formula One in 2021

Fernando Alonsoisn’t ruling out a comeback…

The 38-year-old Spanish racing driver, regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers in the history of the sport, says he’d be open to a return to F1 in 2021 if the right opportunity came along.

Fernando Alonso

The two-time World Champion, who contested 17 seasons of Formula One, left F1 at the end of 2018 after four frustrating years at McLarenwithout a victory or podium appearance. 

Alonso has turned his attention to other pursuits outside of F1 since, winning the Le Mans 24 Hourswith Toyotain 2018.

Alonso is set to take part in the Dakar Rallyin January 2020 and will then set his sights on winning the Indy 500on his third attempt — he led for a spell on his debut at the Brickyard in 2017, but ultimately failed to finish following a Hondaengine issue. On his return last year a catalogue of McLaren errors in the build-up meant he failed to qualify for the race itself.

In an interview with Sky Sportsahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Alonso said he’s still happy to consider a return to the F1 grid.

“I’m doing Dakar in January which is a big challenge and next year hopefully Indy is in the plan again,” he said. “I’ll try and do a little bit better than this year!

“We will keep it open in the future, maybe Formula One in 2021, maybe hyper car in the WEC [World Endurance Championship.]

“I think in 2021 that is the reason why I keep open the possibilities. Maybe things mix up with the new rules so let’s see if an opportunity comes.”

del Castillo to Participate in Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race for Charity

Kate del Castillo will be revvin’ her engine for a good cause soon…

The 40-year-old Mexican actress and former telenovela star will take part in a charity auto race next month to benefit children battling serious illnesses, according to organizers.

Kate del Castillo

del Castillo, who will be joined by fellow Latino luminaries Cristian Castro and Michelle Rodriguez, will climb inside a 200-horsepower Scion FR-S sports car during the 10-lap Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, which will take place in downtown Long Beach, California.

The event, which is being held on April 20, will raise funds for the Racing for Kids organization, a national program that benefits children’s hospitals throughout the United States.

Ex-marine and Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer; journalist and former Entertainment Tonight host Mark Steines and the winner of the previous edition of the race, comedian Adam Carolla, will also be among the competing celebrities, who will undergo intense training sessions prior to the race.

The professional drivers who’ll compete against the celebrities include freestyle motocross champion and star of the MTV program Nitro Circus, Andy Bell; and National Hot Rod Association driver Melanie Troxel.

The celebrities receive a 30-second head start against the professionals.

The funds raised will be donated to organizations like the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach.

Since 1991, Toyota has donated more than $2 million to the Racing for Kids organization.