Fernando Alonso says he had no issues adjusting to driving in the dark when testing for the Rolex 24 at Daytona last weekend thanks to his experiences in Formula 1’s night races such as Bahrain and Singapore.

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Alonso will make his sports car racing debut in the Rolex 24 later this month with United Autosports, acting as preparation for a possible entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Toyota.

Alonso had anticipated driving under the lights in the dark to be one of his biggest challenges during last weekend’s ‘Roar Before the 24’ test, but found it not to be drastically different to the night-time F1 races he has featured in before.

“It was good, it was no big difference compared to daytime,” Alonso said.

“In F1 we have some night racing in Bahrain, in Singapore and in Abu Dhabi as well, and the circuit is quite well illuminated here. It’s not like other endurance circuits. So I found no big issues there.

“The same with the traffic that I was a little bit afraid of. There are always some moments and some risks when you are overtaking cars here and there or if they are fighting each other, but that’s a normal thing that will face everybody, not only us, the rookies.

“So it’s something that we should be on top of it for the race as well.”

Alonso instead found the biggest challenge to be the lack of track time as he split running with co-drivers Lando Norris and Phil Hanson, whom he will share the #23 United Autosports Ligier JS P217 with for the race later this month.

“I think probably the biggest surprise was the little time on the car that you spend,” Alonso said.

“The sessions were not very long and you share the car, so you lose a little bit of time in the driver change, you lose in the setup changes, and you end up doing very few laps.

“That was maybe the surprise that I was missing this weekend.

“I think that’s part of the game and in the 24 hours we will accumulate enough laps for sure.”



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