Fernando Alonso's charge for victory at the Indianapolis 500 mile race was halted by a Honda engine failure on lap 180 or 200. The Spaniard impressed with solid driving, and remained in the hunt throughout the entire race, but just like in F1, an engine failure prevented him to finish. 20 laps later, former F1 driver Takuma Sato won the 101st running on the Indy500.
Having dropped down to 9th at the start, Alonso worked his way back up and led 26 laps of the race. He impressed many, but as the race progressed, so started the engine failure for Honda engines. Ryan Hunter Ray retired little past halfway from the lead with a smoking engine, while 2 others did as well before Alonso also came to a halt.
Alonso said afterwards: "I had no warning of the engine failure, to be honest. I heard unusual noise, felt the engine friction and then saw smoke out of the exhaust, so it was clear".
Asked how he estimated his drive, the Spaniard said he was enjoying the experience.
"Clearly, this has been a great event for me. The racing today was nice, very clean. We have been very competitive all day, and it's a great pleasure to see that arriving here, with no experience, against the best of the world on oval racing, that I can be competitive.
"Surely, it wasn't easy, coming here and not having experienced anything like this. It's very different, and certainly, if I come back, it will be easier than this one has been."
Despite being plagued by Honda engine problems, just like in Formula One in recent years, the Spaniard was happy he did opt to do the Indy500, thereby skipping the Monaco Grand Prix - in which neither McLaren managed to finish.
"Overall, this was one of the greatest experiences of my career."
While Alonso was sidelined, Alonso's teammate at Andretti, Takuma Sato, won the Indianapolis 500, edging out Helio Castroneves and Ed Jones.