Alonso wins Indy 500 Rookie of the Year over Jones

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Alonso wins Indy 500 Rookie of the Year over Jones
Valentin Khorounzhiy
By: Valentin Khorounzhiy
May 30, 2017, 9:23 AM

McLaren-Honda-Andretti driver Fernando Alonso has been named as Rookie of the Year for the 2017 edition of the Indy 500.

Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda
Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Honda-Andretti Honda pit stop
Ed Jones, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Ed Jones, Dale Coyne Racing Honda

Despite having been consigned to a 24th-place finish by an engine failure on lap 179 of 200, Alonso beat the race's highest-finishing rookie Ed Jones to the honours.

Jones took the chequered flag in third, finishing 0.528s off race winner Takuma Sato.

Rookie honours were decided by a media vote, based off of four evenly-weighed criteria - “a) the driver’s skill, b) sportsmanship, c) accessibility and conduct during the month, d) finishing position”.

Two-time Formula 1 champion Alonso qualified fifth for his Indy 500 debut and led 27 laps.

He was running seventh when the Honda engine on his Dallara DW12 failed.

Jones, the reigning Indy Lights champion, is contesting his first campaign in IndyCar with Dale Coyne Racing-Honda this year.

He ran much of his first Indy 500 outside of the top 10, but was in contention for victory late on, following Sato and runner-up Helio Castroneves across the finish line.

The Dubai-born Brit believed he would've had a good chance at victory if not for damage incurred in the big crash involving Scott Dixon and Jay Howard early on.

 

Jones's third-place finish payout was $535,629, while Alonso – who said he would “definitely” aim to return to the race - took in $305,805, with $50,000 of those awarded for winning Rookie of the Year.

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