Yesterday, two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso ran his final race in the series for the foreseeable future. Alonso, easily one of the best on the F1 grid, has been plagued by bad luck the past few seasons, including swapping teams at the exact wrong time on multiple occasions. The past few seasons have been particularly frustrating, with McLaren way off the pace.
But that frustration in F1 has given Alonso leverage to run other series and to aim for motorsports' unofficial triple crown–wins in the Indy 500, Le Mans, and the Monaco Grand Prix. Alonso had already won Monaco and ticked off Le Mans earlier this year in a Toyota, but Indy hasn't happened yet. Not for lack of trying, of course, but the 2017 race ended with an engine failure while running high up the order. Alonso also ran the Daytona 24 earlier this year with United Autosports as a warm up for his run at Le Mans.
It seems he enjoyed both. As and confirmed to R&T by sources with knowledge of the deal, Alonso will drive in the 2019 Daytona 24 in a Cadillac DPi prepped by Wayne Taylor Racing and his McLaren entry in the Indy 500 will use Chevrolet power.
Update 11/27/2018: Wayne Taylor Racing has confirmed that Alonso and Kobayashi will run the Daytona 24 in a Cadillac.
Update 12/4/2018: McLaren in the Indy 500.
Wayne Taylor's team is a natural choice for Alonso to be in a front-running car at Daytona. It's a team that's used to having a high-profile third driver in its lineup, since it won the race with Jeff Gordon sharing driving duties with Jordan and Ricky Taylor in 2017. There was also a rumor going around the paddock that Alonso's Toyota teammate Kamui Kobayashi would be running with WTR at Daytona, though it's not clear if that's still possible.
As for Indy, Chevy power was more a foregone conclusion than a surprise. Allegedly, Honda was not keen to supply McLaren and Alonso with engines after both the team and driver were highly critical of the Japanese company's power units in F1. It's a coup for Chevrolet to have a driver like Alonso in its stable of 500 drivers and Honda doesn't have to worry about any awkward exchanges. Everyone wins.
While not 100 percent official just yet, we expect confirmation of these deals in the next week.