Alonso 'second favourite' to win Indy 500

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Andretti Autosport - in the IndyCar Indianapolis 500 May 2017
© XPB 

Bookmakers have made Fernando Alonso the second favourite to win Sunday's 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

The two-time world champion will be making his first start in the race from fifth place on the grid after impressing everyone with his form in qualifying at the weekend.

Now betting company Ladbrokes have trimmed the odds on the Spaniard winning the race outright to just 13/2. He was initially given a 16/1 shot of victory, but that's tumbled each time he's taken to the track.

Alonso hopes to follow in the foot steps of previous Formula 1 champions to savour a glass of milk in victory circle. Jim Clark and Graham Hill both won the race in the 1960s.

Only experienced IndyCar veteran and four-time series champion Scott Dixon is above Alonso. He's given odds of 6/1 to take what would be his second Indy 500 victory. The first was in 2008, when he started the race from pole position - as he will do this time.

Following qualifying, Alonso had a quiet time of it in the final full day of practice on Monday. He completed 66 laps of the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway and was 12th fastest. Former Marussia F1 driver Max Chilton finished on top of the speed chart for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Whatever happens on race day, Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz is confident that Alonso will fly the flag for Formula 1 in the United States.

"I watched qualifying and was not surprised how well he did. I knew he would," the 22-year-old told the Spanish daily Marca.

"The race is another story, very long and with so much that can happen, but I'm sure he will also do well.

"I'm sure all of us formula one drivers in Monaco will be watching and encouraging him," Sainx said. he added that he was "hoping he does well and that he represents us well."

The Indianapolis 500 gets underway shortly after noon local time on Sunday, May 29.

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