Alonso joins United Autosports for the Daytona 24 hours
United Autosports have confirmed that double Formula One world champion will race for the team in the 2018 Rolex 24 hours at Daytona on the 27th-28th January. This is with Alonso using the Daytona as potentially a preparation to a Le Mans 24-hours bid in the near future, if not in 2018. Fernando will be joined by Phil Hanson and current McLaren junior Lando Norris.
This will be another interesting venture for Fernando, with him now one of the most popular Formula One drivers thanks to his Indy 500 experience which saw him lead the majority of the 500 before his car failed to finish. Now with Alonso confirming that he will be doing all the F1 races in 2018, the Indy 500 next year is off the cards, but this Daytona 24 could mean Alonso is sniffing around for a Le Mans opportunity next season.
And with Fernando racing single-seaters’ for the majority of his career, it will be a useful exercise to get his eye in at Daytona for what a 24-hour race will be like.
In light of this latest announcement, Fernando gave this statement to United Autosports: “What an exciting and interesting project. Learning about a completely new racing category, adapting to a different car and to another style of driving and everything that goes with it, is a new challenge for me and I can’t wait to test myself again as a driver. The Daytona 24 Hours is the most iconic US endurance race and one of the world’s great races. Everyone knows it. It’s not part of the Triple Crown but, as I have always said, my aim is to be a complete driver and this experience will help me in the preparation for any other endurance race I might take part in. Before I went to Indy, I had never driven on an oval, now I know what an oval is and how to deal with it. I am excited to go back and race in America. After the great time I had during the month of May for the Indy 500, I am looking forward to taking part in another legendary race that will bring back all those amazing sensations that US fans gave me. Also, this race happens at a convenient time, in January, when our F1 season is off and we are mainly working on our physical preparation. It will be good to get behind a wheel again! Thanks to United Autosports for having offered me this opportunity and thanks to McLaren for supporting me in this new exciting adventure.”
Now we have to wait and see if Alonso can use this project wisely when his competes at the Daytona 24-hours next January. And will this prove invaluable experience when the legend competes in Le Mans in his search for the triple crown..?