Formula 1IMSA

Alonso Admits United Autosports Needs More Pace For Daytona 24

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Fernando Alonso admitted that the United Autosports Ligier he will drive in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, needs more pace in order to be competitive in the race.

During the three day Roar Before the 24 test, the #23 Ligier, which Alonso will share with Lando Norris and Phil Hanson, hovered around the bottom half of the prototype ranks where its fastest times were 1-2 seconds off the pace of the fastest Cadillac runners.

In the qualifying session which decides the pit garage the teams will occupy during the race, the #23 Ligier was only 12th fastest, 1.7 seconds slower than the fastest qualifier, ex F1 star Felipe Nasr in the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac.

“There are still little changes going on and it’s the same with the performance of the car,” said Alonso.

“Obviously it’s early days, it’s only testing, but we need to find more pace and hopefully be more competitive when we come back in the race.”

Alonso said that his main priorities coming into the test was to get used to sharing the car with his team-mates and adjust to night racing and slower traffic.

He admitted it had been hard to fit all the required work into the test sessions, which varied from 45 minutes to two hours in length.

“The amount of laps is not huge but it’s better than nothing and I feel more prepared now for the race, for sure,” said Alonso.

“The sessions were not very long and you share the car so you lose a little bit of time in the driver changes, in the set-up changes and you ended up doing very few laps.imsa

“It was a good weekend to work with the guys, with the team, with the team-mates and enter into this mood of sharing everything and adapting and making compromises between all of us to be happy all around.

“That was the main priority for the weekend and it’s what we achieved. That was a positive thing.”

Despite the limited night time running he was happy how easily he adjusted to night-time running.

“It was no big difference compared to the daytime,” he said of Saturday’s after-dark running.

“Also in F1 we have some night racing in Bahrain, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

“The circuit is quite well illuminated here, it’s maybe not like other endurance circuits so I found no big issues there.”

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Sports Car and GT writer. Perhaps being named after James Hunt and Murray Walker (first and middle names) might have something to do with how I have always been motorsport obsessed. After failing to get int racing, I might as well write about it.
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