Alonso makes debut LMP2 outing in Aragon test

Fernando Alonso completed his maiden test in the LMP2 car he will race in next January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona on Tuesday at Aragon.

The two-time Formula 1 champion will make his sportscar racing debut in the Florida endurance classic alongside McLaren test driver Lando Norris and Phil Hanson in one of United Autosports' two Ligier JS P217s.

After logging his first miles in an LMP1 car with Toyota in Sunday's FIA World Endurance Championship rookie test in Bahrain on Sunday, Alonso headed to Aragon to get acquainted with the Gibson-engined Ligier.

"I had a great first test with United Autosports," said Alonso. "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."

He will get further track time during the traditional 'Roar Before the 24' test on 5-7 January before the race itself on 27-28 January.

Team boss Richard Dean added: "We’ve had a good first test with Fernando. 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."

Alonso's Daytona entry has been widely viewed as a precursor to an assault on the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours as he bids to complete motorsport's 'triple crown' with wins at La Sarthe and the Indianapolis 500.

Toyota technical director Pascal Vasselon however would not be drawn on whether Alonso would be back in the TS050 Hybrid in the near future when asked in Bahrain.

"At the moment it was just a fantastic opportunity," said Vasselon of the chance to run Alonso in the rookie test. "We have time now to think about the future." 

Fernando Alonso, United Autosports

Fernando Alonso, United Autosports

Photo by: United Autosports

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About this article
Series IMSA
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Teams United Autosports
Article type Breaking news