Norris Excited for Rolex 24 Debut but Admits ROAR Pace Not Good Enough


Credit: Jake Galstad / LAT Images, Courtesy of IMSA

Lando Norris will attack his first endurance event this weekend as he shares driving duties in the #23 United Autosports Ligier JS P217 with Fernando Alonso and Phil Hanson in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and he admits it will he a whole new experience for him.

The 2017 FIA European Formula 3 Champion has never previously been a part of a multi-class race before in his career, and it was 2014 when he last race with a roof over his head when he competed in the Ginetta Junior Championship.

Norris experienced the Daytona International Speedway for the first time during the ROAR before the 24 at the beginning of the month, and he felt it was good to get a feel of the car around such a demanding track.

“I’m excited to be racing in the Rolex 24, tackling my first endurance race is something I can’t wait to do,” said Norris. “It’s all new for me, as it’s the first time I’ll be competing in a multi-class race with cars that have different speed and braking performances while I haven’t had a roof over my head since I raced in Ginettas.

“Visiting Daytona for the first time, and getting out on track was a pretty cool experience. The Roar test was great to get a feel for the car and learn more about the aero, tyres and strategy for the race. Plus the track offers some really steep banking, which is so different from what I’m used to.”

Norris admits the pace of the Ligier JS P217 was not as strong as they had hoped it would be during the ROAR, but he hopes this can be addressed when it matters this weekend.

“I’m lucky to be able to race with a great team such as United, so the test allowed me to get to know the guys, along with my team-mates Phil and Fernando,” said Norris.

“The performance wasn’t quite what we were hoping for but everyone’s been working flat out ahead of the race and hopefully we’ll be able to improve the pace. I just can’t wait to get back to Daytona!”