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Alonso fails to qualify for Indianapolis 500

RACING INDY 500 | 19 de mayo de 2019

Spanish Formula One driver Fernando Alonso on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange after ringing the closing bell in New York City, New York, on Nov. 20, 2012. EPA-EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT

International Sports Desk, May 19 (efe-epa).- Spain's Fernando Alonso, driving for McLaren-Chevrolet, on Sunday failed to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 next weekend.

Alonso failed to make the cut to fill one of the last three spots on the race grid.

The Spaniard on Sunday was competing against five other drivers for the last three spots from among the 33 available, but he finished fourth, averaging 365.469 kilometers (about 226.6 miles) per hour in the four laps he completed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the qualification phase.

He was beaten out for a spot in next Sunday's race by US driver Sage Karam - who averaged 366.512 kph - Canada's James Hinchcliffe (366.195) and Karam's countryman Kyle Kaiser (365.920), who was the last of the six drivers to run his four qualifying laps and ended up with the 33rd spot, denying Alonso - two-time F1 champion - a place in this year's race.

Earlier in the day, rain had forced a postponement of the qualifying laps for the final six competitors and race organizers decided to temporarily cancel the training phase for the nine fastest vehicles and give priority, weather permitting, for the so-called "Last Row Shootout" to determine the last three spots on the race roster.

After the final six drivers go up against each other, the next step was to be the "Fast Nine Shootout" to determine the order of the nine fastest drivers on the roster.

Also acing off against Alonso, but also failing to qualify for the race, were Pato O'Ward and Max Chilton.

The McLaren Indy team has been having problems all this past week getting Alonso's one-seat vehicle ready to run. Last Tuesday, the first day of the qualifying rounds, the vehicle was in the garage for half the day to have electrical problems corrected.

On Wednesday, Alonso crashed into the barriers and the team was unable to get the vehicle rebuilt until Friday, the last day of the practice rounds.

On Saturday, the Spaniard complained about his team's lack of preparation and admitted that all during the week McLaren Indy had been "a little slow on everything."

He also expressed his lack of confidence that the team could get the vehicle prepared to run in the May 26 race if he were to qualify.

"Probably the speed is not in the car. We're not going to find it in just one night. We'll try to make a good, clean attempt, and with luck that will put us into the last three spots," the driver said at the time.

Meanwhile, grabbing the coveted pole position for the Indy 500 in the "Fast Nine Shootout" on Sunday was French driver Simon Pegenaud, with Team Penske-Chevrolet. Pegenaud came in sixth in last year's Indy 500 and won the IndyCar Series in 2016.

Joining him in the front rank will be US drivers Ed Carpenter and Spencer Pigot, both with Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet.

In the second rank will be British-born United Arab Emirates driver Ed Jones, with Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa-Chevrolet, US rookie Colton Herta (Harding Steinbrenner Racing-Honda) and Australia's Will Power (Team Penske-Chevrolet).

In the third rank will be Sebastien Bourdais of France with Dale Coyne Racing-Honda and US drivers Josef Newgarden (Team Penske-Chevrolet) and Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport-Honda).

The other Spaniard in the competition, Oriol Servia, qualified with no difficulty on Saturday for the 19th spot in the race.

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