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Alonso Poised for Initial United Autosports Test

Fernando Alonso poised for first laps in United Autosports Ligier JS P217 Gibson next week…

Photo: LAT/McLaren

While his presence in Sunday’s Bahrain Rookie Test is still to-be-officially confirmed, Fernando Alonso is poised to gain knowledge of at least one prototype in the next few days ahead of his sports car racing debut in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Sportscar365 has learned that the two-time Formula One World Champion is likely to test with United Autosports at Motorland Aragon on Tuesday.

It would mark Alonso’s first laps at the wheel of the Anglo-American team’s Ligier JS P217 Gibson ahead of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener in January.

While a United Autosports spokesperson said he “couldn’t confirm” Alonso’s presence at the test, it’s understood the Spaniard could share testing duties alongside his Daytona co-driver Phil Hanson.

Alonso was confirmed last month to join Hanson and newly named McLaren F1 reserve driver Lando Norris in one of the team’s Ligier LMP2 cars for the Florida endurance classic.

It could mark a busy stretch for Alonso, who is due to arrive in Bahrain today, ahead of his expected test in Toyota’s TS050 Hybrid on Sunday and possible trip to Spain.

He would be required to be in Abu Dhabi by Thursday afternoon for F1 press activities ahead of next weekend’s season finale.

Two Seats Remain in United’s Lineup for Daytona

Only two seats remain open in United’s lineup for Daytona, which are to be filled in its planned second Ligier entry.

The team has opted for a three-driver lineup for its lead entry of Alonso, Norris and Hanson, with Paul Di Resta and Will Owen to likely be joined by two other to-be-announced drivers, according to a team spokesperson.

It’s unclear when the remainder of the lineup will be announced although no major surprises are expected.

The team has ruled out taking part in next month’s IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona, with its first competitive mileage in the U.S. set to come at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 in early January.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. KW

    November 17, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Probably I have missed out something – will United Autosports also compete in the FIA WEC 2018/2019 season, or will they remain in ELMS, plus a few chosen IMSA races like Daytona?

    • Leigh Dineen

      November 17, 2017 at 10:43 pm

      They’re doing Daytona with two cars, and ELMS with two cars. Alonso is coming to Daytona to not only get a taste of different styles of racing, but to also prepare for the 24 hours of Le Mans if he races with Toyota.

  2. Jenner

    November 17, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Bigger question is how is NASCAR, I mean IMSA, gonna equalize the trap speeds of the Mazda, Nissan, Acura, GM, & the Gibson?

    Will be my maiden trip to the 24hrs of Daytona, looking forward to a good time.

    Is there seating at the Bus Stop chicane? Looks like a lot of action going into that complex.

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