Fernando Alonso's period as an IndyCar driver was capped off in style on Monday night when he was voted the Rookie of the Year for the 101st Indianapolis 500 despite failing to finish the race.

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Alonso skipped the Monaco Grand Prix in favour of racing in the Indy 500 as part of his bid to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport.

Alonso qualified fifth for McLaren-Honda-Andretti and led 27 laps of the race on Sunday despite it being his first on an oval and in an Indy car.

The Spaniard was shuffled to the middle of the pack by some mistimed cautions as the race entered its final quarter, before ultimately being sidelined by an engine failure. He was ultimately classified 24th.

Nevertheless, Alonso's efforts were enough to win him Rookie of the Year honours following a vote by media members, who are required to make a first and second choice.

As per the voting guidelines: "Selection criteria for Rookie of the Year should be based upon (a) the driver's skill, (b) sportsmanship, (c) accessibility and conduct during the month, and (d) finishing position. Each criteria should be considered the same as any other."

Alonso was not, however, the top rookie finisher in the '500. That honour instead went to Dale Coyne Racing's Ed Jones, who took the team's best-ever finish at the Brickyard by finishing third on debut.

Jones stepped up to IndyCar after winning the Indy Lights title last year, with the UAE-born Briton securing a full-season deal with Dale Coyne's team.

His charge to third capped off an impressive two weeks of running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that saw him regularly feature at the front of the pack in practice, and even look in contention for victory in the closing stages of the race.

"It was a great race for us," Jones said. "It was also the longest race I've ever been in, with so many ups-and-downs. We had a solid start, but when [Scott] Dixon had his crash, I ran over some debris and it damaged the floor and rear wing. We had to change the wing, which sent me to the back of the field and then we had to claw our way up again.

"It's so easy to put a foot wrong, and there were a few times when I genuinely thought I was heading for the wall but thanks to the Dale Coyne Racing team for putting a great car underneath me all month."



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