Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Yas Marina, 2018

Alonso to drive for GM brands in 2019 Daytona 24 Hours and Indy 500

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Fernando Alonso has agreed a deal with General Motors brands Cadillac and Chevrolet to compete in next year’s Daytona 24 Hours and Indianapolis 500 respectively, RaceFans can reveal.

The 37-year-old, who called time on his Formula 1 career after yesterday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, will drive a Cadillac DPi-VR in January’s Daytona 24 Hours. The car will be run by 2017 winners Wayne Taylor Racing.

There are no plans at present for Alonso to compete in IMSA events beyond the season-opening Daytona round. Alonso drove a United Autosports-run Ligier JS P217 in this year’s race.

RaceFans understand the deals between Alonso and the GM brands will be announced in early December.

The agreement will also see Alonso use Chevrolet power in the IndyCar McLaren will enter in next year’s Indianapolis 500. An announcement is expected shortly.

Alonso is participating in a ‘car swap’ publicity event with Chevrolet NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson at the Bahrain International Circuit today.

During the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend Alonso hinted he could add further races to his 2019 schedule.

“I have already a couple of commitments next year with the super-season in WEC, doing the 24 Hours of Le Mans again, the Indy 500 with McLaren that we will add there, and probably we will add a couple more race,” he said.

“But [I’ll] try to relax as well, try to combine the two things: the joy of driving but also having a little bit of life because Formula 1 is total dedication to the sport and after 17 years I need a break.”

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Jordan Taylor/Renger van der Zander/Ryan Hunter-Reay, Daytona 24 Hours, 2018
Alonso will return to the Daytona 24 Hours in 2019 with Wayne Taylor Racing

31 comments on “Alonso to drive for GM brands in 2019 Daytona 24 Hours and Indy 500”

  1. Very interesting! Can’t wait to hear what team he’ll be driving for at Indy.

    Wish he could work out a deal for the full season.

    1. McLaren are setting up a team. They haven’t confirmed if it’ll be more than just one car yet:

      McLaren confirm Alonso’s return to the Indianapolis 500 in 2019
      McLaren puts Fernley in charge of IndyCar programme

  2. McLaren Chevrolet. A tasty sounding partnership that would never happen in F1.

    1. @royal-spark well, the Chevrolet Indy engines are developed by Ilmor, as were Mercedes’ engines in the early 2000s when McLaren was supplied by Mercedes. so, technically, it’s a partnership that existed before in F1, but it’s a bit of a stretch.

      1. Mario Illien

    2. McLaren fielded several Chevrolet powered Can-Am cars in the late 60s/early 70s, so at least they can claim some heritage there.


  3. I’m confused. Maybe someone can enlighten me. I thought Alonso competed with Toyota. Why would he be doing the daytona 500 with GM?

    1. Not daytona 500, it is daytona 24 hours. Toyota doesn’t have an entry

      1. Thanks John.

  4. Alonso commitment to racing is remarkable, so happy he is not one of those that disappear after F1.

    1. This depends on what you mean by “disappear” :-)
      Rubens Barrichello is currently in 3rd place in the Stock Car Brazil championship. Has he disappeared because few people internationally might know about that or has he not as he is still an active driver?

  5. Would be a great slap in the face for Honda if he ends up winning the indy 500 with Chevrolet power.

    1. My thought also. If Honda in fact had a chance to supply the engine but turned McLaren down – they will have egg on their face if he wins.
      Corporate Honda must have some anxiety about it but I think they are more concerned with F1, especially after Max’s “baptism” with oil yesterday:)
      Hopefully not an omen.

      1. especially after Max’s “baptism” with oil yesterday:)


    2. Neither Alonso nor Honda will care who they win with, as long as they do.

      If anything Honda will be interested in winning in F1

      1. @johnmilk

        I’m interested in winning in F1 as well. I think I’ve got as good a shot as Honda.

        1. You should give it a try @todfod

          1. @johnmilk

            Sponsor me.. and I’ll be a poor man’s Lance Stroll.

          2. @todfod the best I can do is defend you on the forums, even if you turn out to be yuji ide

          3. @johnmilk

            That’s good enough. I’ll wear a #joao on my helmet in return

  6. Glad he’s managed to get back to Daytona, I was very impressed with his performance earlier this year. The fact that he’s managed to land a seat in the car that has won the last 2 races will mean next years race will be very interesting to watch.

    1. The Daytona is incredibly taxing on teams though. For all he knows, the Acura and Mazda could catch up to the Caddies by next year. And I hope Extreme Speed Motorsports survives without the Patron sponsorship.

  7. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    26th November 2018, 17:49

    I he’s going GM for the Daytona 24 I’d rather he jumped in the factory Corvette with J-Mag for a rattle at the GT, but I don’t think his ego could handle being passed by the prototypes on the straights. GTE engine! GTE engine! Aargh!

  8. GM’s official announcement today is they are laying off 14000 workers… (they had to pay for Alonso somehow?)

    1. None of this is a factory effort though. They online provide engines. The only manufacturer Alonso is directly connected to apart from McLaren is Toyota.

  9. Meanwhile, “General Motors (GM) plans to halt production at five factories in North America and cut more than 14,000 jobs,” BBC.

  10. @mtlracer @jeff1s – you guys beat me to it, came here to say the same thing – that’s about 15% of their workforce, meant to drive $6 billion in savings annually by 2020. I don’t know how GM’s board views their racing endeavours (i.e. a marketing investment or a money pit), but company-wide cost cutting measures are usually not a good sign for motorsports.

  11. Thought some Alonso fans might like to watch a 22 second video of him driving with Jimmie as a passenger on a hot lap in Abu Dhabi. Lando is in the McLaren behind him.
    Evidently Jimmie is taking the video with his cell phone.
    You’ll have to scroll down a dozen or so videos – it’s after the pic of Jimmie and Rosberg.
    Funny stuff:)


  12. Would love to see Fred bump drafting at Talladega . Flav could even order other cars to crash on purpose with some envelopes of cash in the paddocks

  13. Maybe GM is laying off 15% of its workforce to pay for Fernando! :)

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