Roar 24: Alonso practice report

Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris completed a constructive three-day test with teammate Phil Hanson for United Autosports at last weekend’s ‘Roar’ test at Daytona.
United Autosports will return to the Daytona International Speedway later this month primed for the Rolex 24 At Daytona race week (25 – 28 Jan). The team clocked up a total of almost 1,500-miles with its brace of Ligier JS P217 sports-prototypes at the ‘Roar’ that compete for top-placings in the annual race being run for the 56th time.

Practice was split into seven sessions over three days with a total of 510mins of on-track time for the 50-car, three class field which included evening running last night in preparation for the opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Five of its seven driver squad had never even seen, let alone driven on the 3.56-mile, 12-turn course utilising sections of the famed DIS “banked oval” plus infield section prior to Friday’s opening test session.

Fernando and Lando experienced only their second test in the Ligier while Bruno Senna, United’s only driver with previous Daytona race experience, had his very first run with the team on Friday morning.

Fernando Alonso:

“It’s been a positive test but we need to find more pace. It was good to experience the Daytona track for the first time. I now feel better prepared for the race in terms of having to make compromises due to sharing the car. It was good to work with Lando, Phil and the team.

“Driving in the night session was not a big difference as the circuit is well illuminated – also in F1 we have some races in the dark – I had no big issues with that or the traffic. I had a very nice welcome from the American fans and cannot wait to see more of them at the race.”

Zak Brown:

“I’m very excited about United competing at the Rolex 24 for a second time. We’d originally planned a one-car entry but here we are at the Roar with two cars, each with outstanding driver line-ups.”It’s been a tough test for us with masses for everyone to learn in a short space of time. The Rolex will unquestionably be difficult but it’s a long race which will hopefully allow us to show the endurance skills that has brought us multiple race and championship success in Europe.”

Join us on the 27th of January for the 24 hours of Daytona.

Source: McLaren