Bob Fernley to head McLaren IndyCar team

Former Force India deputy principal named as president of Indy 500 programme.

Bob Fernley to head McLaren IndyCar team

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Motorsport organisation McLaren Racing have appointed Bob Fernley as president of their IndyCar project.

Last week, McLaren announced it would be entering the 2019 edition of the Indianapolis 500 race, which their Formula One driver Fernando Alonso is set to compete in for the second time.

Alonso first entered the race in 2017 under the banner of Andretti Autosport, following an affiliation between McLaren and the auto racing team.

Next year’s race will see McLaren directly support Alonso, with Fernley heading the technical team ahead of the race which takes place annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Fernley, who previously worked in the IndyCar series in the 1980s, said: “Heading back to the Brickyard will be a very special experience for me and I am proud to be leading this McLaren project and team.

“The 500 is a hell of a challenge and we have incredibly strong competitors to overcome if we're to be successful. We will need to prepare well for the month of May and that work starts now.”

Part of Fernley’s role will be also to evaluate McLaren’s potential long-term future in the auto racing series. Last month, McLaren confirmed they would not join the IndyCar basis full-time, holding back plans to enter permanently in 2019 following an internal review.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso will enter the race looking to become just the second driver to complete the so-called ‘Triple Crown of Motorsport’, following victories at the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

The 2019 Indianapolis 500 takes place on May 26th.