Alonso using Daytona as Le Mans trial run

Fernando Alonso pic: Daytona International Speedway

Fernando Alonso says that his drive in this year’s Daytona 24 Hours will help make his mind up as to whether he pursues a Le Mans 24 Hours campaign.

Alonso got his first laps at Daytona International Speedway on Day 1 of the three-day Roar Before The 24, the test weekend prior to the race later this month.

The Spaniard completed a total of 21 laps in the United Autosports Ligier LMP2 as he steps up preparation for his first sportscar race.

The drive could precede a start in a Toyota LMP1 in this year’s Le Man 24 Hours after Alonso took part in the World Endurance Championship rookie test at Bahrain late last year.

The 36-year-old has declared his intent to attempt to achieve the unofficial ‘triple crown’ of world motorsport, making his Indianapolis 500 debut last year having already notched up two Monaco Grand Prix wins.

Le Mans is the other race in the triple crown.

“Doing this race is some kind of first step in endurance championship (racing), how these races are and how much I enjoy these races. Hopefully, it’s a positive answer,” explained Alonso.

“After the Daytona 24 Hours, I will have a better understanding of these championships and the Le Mans 24 Hours and the triple crown is another target.

“So if I can fit in the Le Mans 24 Hours this year that I’m not doing the Indy 500, that will be great and hopefully the following year the Indy 500 can be in the plan again.”

Filipe Albuquerque set the fastest lap of the day (1:37.196s) in the Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi which he is sharing with Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa.

Lando Norris achieved the best time in the #23 United entry which he is sharing with Alonso and Phil Hanson, clocking a 1:38.170s during the first session of the day.

Norris went slower in the second session but his earlier effort would have stood up for ninth-fastest on combined times.

Alonso, who had previously tested the Ligier at Aragon in November, worked his way down to a 1:38.602s in the second session.

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