McLaren will commence its testing programme for the Indianapolis 500 next April after receiving delivery of its cars in January as preparations for its return to the IndyCar paddock continue.

After partnering with Andretti Autosport and Honda to enter the Indy 500 in 2017, McLaren confirmed last month it would be returning to the race next year with its own operation, teaming up with Chevrolet for an engine supply.

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Fernando Alonso will race for McLaren at the Indy 500 next year, with the team remaining coy on the possibility of adding a second car to the field.

Giving an update on the team's Indy 500 preparations, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said things were "going well" before setting a timeline of when it will make further steps in the coming weeks and months leading up to the race.

"We have ordered both our cars, and we announced our relationship with Chevorlet. We'll have our cars delivered to us sometime mid to late January," Brown said.

"The current plan is to bring them back here to McLaren. We'll have a car build programme done here at the MTC. Bob Fernley is our president, who has a good history at Indianapolis. We have hired our engineer, our chief mechanic. I would say we're half way through our staffing of the team. We have our trucks and trailers ready, so we are on course.

"We're excited. It will be a separate team, Bob Fernley is doing an excellent job. I'll be in Indianapolis at the end of January. Stay tuned for personnel announcements and we do have some sponsors. There have been discussions, and we expect to have a great looking IndyCar for the Indy 500."

Asked by Crash.net when he expected McLaren to conduct its first Indy car test in 2019, Brown said: "There are a variety of testing restrictions, so we’re not free to do as we want.

"I think we will be on the track for the first time in early April, and that’s when our testing will commence. Then, of course, we’ll do the maximum allowed within the current regulations as far as the amount of testing both at Indianapolis and away from Indianapolis."

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is scheduled to host an open IndyCar test on April 24 next year, one month prior to the Indy 500.

 

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