Alonso 'to compete in Daytona 24' with Lando Norris

Fernando Alonso Daytona 24 Hour
© XPB 

Fernando Alonso will take part in January's Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance race, according to reports in the US media.

RACER magazine says that he will drive for United Autosports, the team co-founded and owned by McLaren F1 executive director Zak Brown.

Alonso's team mates for the race will be the team's regular driver Phil Hanson, along with young McLaren driver Lando Norris. The 17-year-old rising star clinched the European Formula 3 championship earlier this month.

Williams test and development driver Paul di Resta will also drive for United Autosports at Daytona. He'll be behind the wheel of the squad's second car. According to the reports, Jenson Button turned down an offer to complete for the team.

Alonso's ultimate ambition is motorsport's Triple Crown. That comprises the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Just 17 drivers have competed in all three legs of the Triple Crown and have won at least one of the events. Juan Pablo Montoya won at Indianapolis and Monaco but is yet to race at Le Mans. Only one driver in history - Graham Hill - has actually won all three events.

Alonso won at Monaco in 2006. The two-time world champion made his Indy 500 début earlier this year, but retired before the finish with engine failure. Now he has his eyes set on Le Mans - but he wants to prepare for it properly.

“As I said many times, the Triple Crown is the main thing," Alonso told RACER this weekend.

“The Indy 500 was a nice thing and I felt very competitive," he continued. "But it was a big challenge that I took from zero.

"With no testing and no similar racing experience before the Indy 500 at any other oval, it was a big challenge.

"Maybe there are other possibilities to prepare Le Mans a little bit better [than I managed for] the Indy 500.”

The Daytona 24 is seen as an ideal way for Alonso to get used to sportscar endurance racing. It takes place two months before the start of the Formula 1 season meaning there are no schedule clashes.

Alonso said at the weekend that he was looking for more motorsports challenges in 2018 in addition to racing in Formula 1.

"For me, I would race every weekend in any car in any country," Alonso told Sky Sports F1 at the United States GP. "I think two or three weekends on the year [I will race] in a different series."

Alonso doesn't have a confirmed deal to race in next year's Le Mans. However, McLaren has said it won't stand in his way if he wants to take part.

"If Fernando would like to do some additional racing that doesn't compromise our Formula 1 efforts then we'll be open to that conversation and flexible," Brown said at the weekend.

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