Two days after getting his first laps in a sports car, Fernando Alonso traded a Toyota TS050 Hybrid for United Autosports’ Ligier JS P217 Gibson, in preparation for his debut in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
As first revealed by Sportscar365 last week, the two-time Formula One world champion is taking part in a test at Motorland Aragon with the Angl0-American team, marking his first experience in a LMP2 car.
He completed a total of 300 miles in the single-day test alongside Phil Hanson, with Felipe Albuquerque also on hand to assist.
Alonso will join Hanson and McLaren F1 test and reserve driver Lando Norris at the wheel of the car in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.
“I had a great first test with United Autosports,” Alonso said. “Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time.
“There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car.
“I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”
Team co-owner Zak Brown, who also serves as McLaren’s Executive Director, was also at the test in Spain, prior to heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s Formula One season finale.
“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected,” Brown said. “He is a World Champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car.”
Richard Dean added: “We shouldn’t be surprised that it took him no time at all to get used to the car and the circuit having never driven here.
“He immediately got down to really competitive times and set to work understanding the car and doing long runs and race distance stuff – hugely impressive.”