The Spaniard, a double F1 World Champion, had previously expressed a desire to compete at Indy and in the Le Mans 24 Hours in a bid to secure victory in racing’s triple crown, something achieved only by Englishman Graham Hill.
And this weekend marks the culmination of that effort, with the 32-time Grand Prix winner taking on the 500 in a Dallara-Honda for the Andretti team, instead of tackling what would’ve been his 16th Monaco GP, his third for McLaren.
Rookie Alonso caused a further stir by qualifying the #29 machine in fifth place – in the middle of the second row – thereby immediately adding his name to the list of drivers who’ll be gunning for victory in the 101st running of the 500.
Alonso isn’t the first F1 World Champion to have taken on the legendary 2.5-mile Superspeedway, of course, as die-hard fans will know. Conveniently for our regular ‘Famous Five’ slot, five F1 champs won the great race – three of them after conquering F1, two of them before. This, then, is the quintet of versatile heroes who have their names etched on two of the sport’s biggest trophies and who Alonso will be going all out to emulate on Sunday.