Alonso takes positives out of tough Daytona sports vehicle debut

Jan 30, 2018, 01:22
Alonso takes positives out of tough Daytona sports vehicle debut

The race was won by the Cadillac of Joao Barbosa, Filipe Albuquerque and former F1 driver Christian Fittipaldi. Chip Ganassi Racing and GRT Grasser Racing took class victories.

"If and when I will be at Le Mans, it will be the second time, at least".

But his race ended in reality before the race even got halfway.

"I didn't ask exactly what the problem was, but they've been racing with this vehicle all past year".

"We'll be back!" said Zak Brown, Team Owner and Chairman, United Autosports. The auto then suffered further brake and throttle issues throughout the race, requiring more garage time, so that when Alonso stepped out of the vehicle for the final time in the 22 hour, he was in 20 place and 50 laps down. "You're scared a little bit, no doubt", Alonso said. "It happened two times in the first corner-you're right there at 300 to 310 kilometers an hour, and you hit the brakes and there's no brakes..."

"But that's the way it is". A lot of traffic, but when you are a prototype vehicle you get a lot of overtaking manoeuvres.

Speculation now turns to whether or not Alonso's next 24-hour endurance race will be this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.

He added: "The next time I jump in a prototype vehicle [with a] closed cockpit, I know what is the feeling, I know the traffic situation, I know the night driving, I know about the safety auto".

"Instead of being on a bicycle or in the gym, you are driving, so it's much better". It's not a new vehicle where you come here and you have issues here and there.

Williams' Lance Stroll was the other current Formula 1 driver in action and, like he did in qualifying at Monza past year, excelled in the wet five hours into the race and climbed firmly within the top 10 in tricky conditions. A tyre issue during the eighth hour dropped the team to 11th, three laps down.

Before the issues crept up, Alonso had been running well.

The race began well for Alonso, who started the No. 23 Ligier JS P217 Gibson.

He said he looked at the result as "a lost opportunity" but added: "I have a positive outcome even with all the issues". "As I said, I experienced things the whole event that was new for me, and next time I jump in a prototype auto, closed cockpit, I know what is the feeling". I really enjoyed the traffic management and the vehicle itself.

Following a private test run at MotorLand Aragon, and the traditional Roar Before the 24 test, Alonso was entrusted with duties in qualifying, and put the Ligier PS217 into 13th place on the grid... He said while the Indianapolis 500 grid seemed more crowded, it was still a little insane for him Saturday prior to the event.

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