The familiar papaya orange Indy car will once again be racing around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, confirmed Monday by McLaren Racing’s unveiling of the official livery for the No. 66 McLaren Chevrolet that Fernando Alonso will run in the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
Built at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, United Kingdom, the car sports the unique McLaren papaya orange for the chassis, echoing the color chosen by Bruce McLaren for the team’s first Formula One entry in 1966 and reflecting the livery of McLaren's current F1 car, the MCL34. This year’s scheme for both racing series features a complementary blue that nods to the team’s racing heritage. McLaren had previously announced the car’s number, with the No. 66 in honor of McLaren’s first victory at the Brickyard, achieved by Mark Donohue in a Team Penske M16 in 1972.
“The reveal of the No. 66 car and livery is an important moment for McLaren Racing’s journey to the Indianapolis 500,” said Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing. “It represents the beginning of the next phase of our program and reflects a tremendous amount of hard work by our specialist Indy 500 team at the McLaren Technology Centre. We are all looking forward to seeing the No. 66 out on track for the first time on April 24 (for an open test at IMS).”
Alonso, the two-time Formula One champion, is attempting to become just the second driver, following Graham Hill, to achieve the Triple Crown of motorsport. The Spaniard already has won F1’s Monaco Grand Prix and sport-car racing’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. A victory in the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26 would complete the feat.
“I’m excited we are finally able to reveal to the world the No. 66 car which I’ll be racing with McLaren at the Indy 500 in May,” Alonso said. “The team at the McLaren factory has worked very hard to build this car ready for our return to the iconic Brickyard, and I think it looks fantastic in the 2019 McLaren Racing colors. My hopes for the race remain the same, to win and achieve the Triple Crown, and I’m looking forward to meeting the fantastic U.S. fans who made me feel so welcome first time around.”
The No. 66 McLaren Chevrolet is en route from the United Kingdom to the United States for the IMS open test on April 24. Meanwhile, Alonso will climb into its sister test car for a private test on Tuesday at Texas Motor Speedway. The sister car was prepared at the Florida shop of NTT IndyCar Series team Carlin, which is working partnering with McLaren on Alonso’s Indy 500 effort.
Official practice for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 begins Tuesday, May 14, with qualifying to determine the 33-car field the weekend of May 18-19. Live coverage of the race begins at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 26 on NBC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. Tickets for all month of May activities are available at IMS.com.