Two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso to compete in Rolex 24

Two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso to compete in Rolex 24

Alonso, a two-time world champion, will drive for the United Autosport team with the race taking place during F1's off-season.

After accepting his lack of experience for Indianapolis 500, Fernando Alonso will now be fulfilling his life-long ambition of competing in Daytona 24-hours sports vehicle endurance race, officially known as 24 Hours of Daytona.

Alonso will race alongside Phil Hanson and Lando Norris in the event, which will be held on January 26-27.

The race doubles up as the opening round of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship.

Alonso described Daytona as "an exciting and interesting project", adding: "Learning about a completely new racing category, adapting to a different auto and to another style of driving and everything that goes with it, is a new challenge for me".

That's why Alonso will be on the grid for the Daytona 24 Hours in January at the wheel of an LMP2 prototype.

Commenting on being part of the Daytona 24 Hours sports auto endurance race, Fernando Alonso said, "What an exciting and interesting project".

The team's third and final driver is yet to be announced.

The addition of Alonso is a boon to IMSA and fans of the endurance race. "It's not possible to overstate the significance of this news". Brown spearheaded Alonso's Indy 500 effort with Andretti Autosports earlier this year.

The two men will race in the colours of United Autosports, owned by Zak Brown, team principal of the McLaren F1 team.

Alonso has signed for at least one more year of Formula 1 with McLaren in 2018.

United Autosports' other auto at Daytona will include drivers Will Owen and former Formula 1 driver Paul di Resta.

Brown added: "I'm thrilled we have managed to put a deal together to get Fernando in the vehicle at Daytona".

"Although he hasn't driven an LMP2 auto before I'm confident he will pick it up quickly".

Although not part of motorsport's Triple Crown, which Alonso is targeting before the end of his career, Daytona will mark his debut in a prototype sports auto and could be seen as preparation for an assault on the Le Mans 24 Hours later that year.

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