Fernando Alonso will step up his preparations for the Rolex 24 At Daytona as he takes part in the ‘Roar before the 24’ test later this week.
The two-time Formula 1 world champion will be part of United Autosports’ team for the event, which takes place later this month. The team, which is run by McLaren’s Zak Brown, will field two cars and seven drivers.
The ‘Roar before the 24’ is an official test event for the 24-hour race, taking place over three days and determining the pit allocation for race week. It starts on Friday with two test sessions, continuing on Saturday and Sunday before culminating with a 15-minute qualifying-style shootout at Sunday afternoon. The event also features races from other series and sees the launch of new cars ahead of the 2018 season.
The Spaniard already has some experience in the Ligier, having tested the LMP2 machine at Aragon in November ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Alonso insisted he was happy with everything about the car after that test, which came just a couple of days after he tested an LMP1 Toyota at Bahrain.
Speaking ahead of this week’s test, Alonso revealed he’s pleased to be back in the USA, having competed in last year’s Indy500. He admits this race will take him out of his comfort zone, but believes such a challenge will make him a better driver.
A strong performance in Daytona could see Alonso entering the Le Mans 24hr later this year. The McLaren driver has made no secret of his desire to complete the Triple Crown of Motorsport, adding Indy 500 and LeMans wins to Monaco Grand Prix success. Alonso has reportedly already agreed in principal to race for Toyota at the race in May, although the Japanese manufacturer is yet to confirm the deal.
Alonso will be driving alongside McLaren reserve driver Lando Norris and Phil Hanson in Daytona, while former F1 drivers Bruno Senna and Paul Di Resta will join Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer in the other United Autosports Ligier JS P217.