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Alonso Confirms Interest for Rolex 24

Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has directly confirmed he is interested entering the Rolex 24 at Daytona next January following speculation in recent days of plans with United Autosports…

Photo: McLaren F1

Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has directly confirmed his interest in competing in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona following speculation in recent days of plans with United Autosports.

As first reported by Sportscar365 on Thursday, Alonso is in contention to race with the Anglo-American squad at Daytona as part of its expanded entry for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.

Alonso has links to United Autosports via its co-owner, Zak Brown, who is also the executive director for the McLaren F1 team where the Spaniard will race full-time in 2018.

However, as part of his push to become just the second driver in history to win the ‘Triple Crown’ of motorsport, Alonso is keen to enter the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year, made possible by lack of clashes with his F1 commitments.

Alonso said on Thursday he would be open to extra preparation for a Le Mans debut, hinting at Daytona, but directly addressed appearing in January’s event during a fan forum event at the Circuit of The Americas on Saturday.

“Obviously I will do my best to race in America as many races as I can,” Alonso said.

“The Indy 500 experience was one of the best races of my life in terms of feeling, in terms of racing approach. I would like to experience more American races.

“One maybe comes in January with the Daytona 24 Hours, so that will be nice.”

This marks Alonso’s first direct reference to the race at Daytona on Jan. 27-28, adding momentum to a possible sports car debut with United Autosports.

Were Alonso to join the team for Daytona, he would be part of a two-car Ligier JS P217 Gibson entry that already features Williams F1 reserve Paul di Resta, McLaren colleague and junior Lando Norris, United Autosports regular Will Owen and the incoming Phil Hanson.

Luke Smith is a British motorsport journalist who has served as NBC Sports’ lead Formula 1 writer since 2013, as well as working on its online sports car coverage.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Clickity

    October 23, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Can we stop the whole “as first reported by” because 1) no it wasn’t and 2) nobody cares who reports it first. Good Lord just give me accurate information and I’m happy

    • McLaren Supporter

      October 23, 2017 at 9:37 am

      You’re reading it wrong. It means they first reported it on their site on Thursday, not that they were the first in the world to report it on Thursday.
      2017: where everybody gets offended at everything on the Internet for no reason.
      Chill TF out.

      • John Dagys

        October 23, 2017 at 11:14 am

        We don’t say “as first reported” unless it actually was first reported on here. Our story was published Thursday morning. Others followed suit later that afternoon after first reading it on Sportscar365.

        • Clickity

          October 26, 2017 at 6:38 am

          Autoweek talked about this on October 11

  2. Clickity

    October 23, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Nope

    • McLaren Supporter

      October 23, 2017 at 11:14 am

      What a very well thought out and reasoned reply. How long did it take you to think it up?

    • McLaren Supporter

      October 23, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Let me spell it out for you, the article reads:

      “As first reported by Sportscar365 on Thursday, Alonso is in contention to race with the Anglo-American squad at Daytona as part of its expanded entry for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.”

      Had they been saying they reported it FIRST out of everyone, it would read:

      “As reported first by Sportscar365 on Thursday, Alonso is in contention to race with the Anglo-American squad at Daytona as part of its expanded entry for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.”

      Subtle but clear difference. But again, enjoy being offended by things.

      • NaBUru38

        October 23, 2017 at 12:51 pm

        Few people would understand the difference between “first reported” and “reported first”, including me. John Dagys writes elegantly, but not ambiguously.

  3. G. Briden

    October 23, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Holy Crap I think everyone read the little BLUE section and stopped so they could post some stupid Rant trying to look all smart or something ALL of you need to get a life.. Sorry could not keep that in.

    As for the true topic I think it is good to see a Big name racer trying other things during there active career waiting till you are ” Retired ” to do them is no were near as interesting Fernando is GOOD for motor sports I hope others see his success and join him.

  4. jerryk

    October 23, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Since Alonso has confirmed interest, it’ll be in a Subaru Prototype then:
    http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/subaru-confirms-interest-in-prototype-program/

  5. fernando martins

    October 23, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Who cares who reported what first? I first read it here, so for ME it was first reported here! What matters is that he races at Daytona! I’m on my way!!!

    • Cosmo DeLuca

      October 23, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      Exactly. Nobody cares who reported it first, except the guy that reported it second.

  6. Viva Alonso!

    October 23, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Here I am, loading comments, hoping to find insightful comments about the likelihood that Alonso races in the Rolex 24 and all I find are people complaining and insulting each other. Finally, here I sit, typing away, contributing. Cheers!

  7. Richard Reeves

    October 23, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    I live 2.5 hours from Daytona. Alonso and Lando Norris on the same team…? I’d drive backwards on I-4 to get there (though I’ll be heading there anyway at about 85 mph, traffic & cops permitting…). Can’t wait! This would be SPECIAL! One of the world’s greatest drivers, and one of its greatest future stars, branching out into sports car racing in the US? And dinner with wine at Carrabas across the street…?

    The end of January can not come soon enough!

  8. John

    October 23, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    I always like drivers who try different disciplines, and aim for a range of accomplishments. For me, they’ll always occupy a higher step than those who excel at only one discipline or championship.

    And it’s cool that the basic nature of sports car racing itself (with multiple drivers), and the liberal contracts it operates under (such as for someone like Hartley) allows drivers to the freedom to jump into a car few restrictions.

    WTR had Jeff Gordon last year, but how cool would it be if they snagged Alonso for Daytona in a totally left field move?

  9. c6rick

    October 24, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Oh no, someone else confirmed he is doing the Rolex 24.

  10. KW

    October 24, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I always didn’t like Fernando Alonso very much because of his very self-centered behaviour which didn’t leave any space for any teammate in F1. But entering a team-oriented racing where you have to make sure that also your 2 teammates are comfortable with the racecar might end up in making an experience which might change his mind a bit into a friendlier direction. The more another F1 title becomes unlikely for him, the more he tends to make new and interesting experiences. Interesting to watch this positive character development happen.

  11. pierre

    October 24, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    If toyota were to pick up ALO for the 2018 24LM, how much of a walk in overall victory would that be as toyota looks to be the only lmp1-h car on the grid?

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