Unrealistic to Expect Alonso to Fight for Victory at Daytona – Brown

Fernando Alonso - United Autosports - 2018 Rolex 24 at Dayona
Credit: Scott R LePage LAT Images, Courtesy of IMSA

Zak Brown says it is unrealistic to expect a debut win for Fernando Alonso and United Autosports in this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, with their Ligier JS P217 not as quick as some of their rivals.

The #23 Ligier, which Alonso shares with Lando Norris and Phil Hanson, will start thirteenth on Saturday, but team boss Brown believes Cadillac and Acura have the advantage, while even amongst the LMP2 teams, United Autosports are still not the strongest.

As a result, Brown believes the team, who are also fielding a second car for Bruno Senna, Paul di Resta, Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer, would be satisfied with a top five finish, but feel a victory is a long shot.

“There is some strong competition; I think on ultimate pace we will be a little bit off,” said Brown on Motorsport.com.  “A top-five or a podium [would be realistic], but I would be surprised if we are going away with any watches come Sunday.

“Fernando is here to win. We are all here to win, but you have to be realistic. It would be misleading if I said we have the same chance as Cadillac and Acura, because we don’t.

“Among the LMP2 cars we have got a disadvantage to the Oreca, and the DPi cars always excel around here.”