You didn’t really think we would leave Alonso off this list, did you? Just as he was at the Indianapolis 500 last May, Alonso will be the focal point for most tuning in to watch Daytona this weekend as he takes his first step into the world of sports car racing.

While Alonso was able to dice it at the front at Indianapolis despite very limited experience, his chances of doing the same at Daytona are far, far slimmer. The LMP2 Ligier he and United Autosports teammates Lando Norris and Phil Hanson is off the pace of the DPi front-runners, with Alonso finishing some 1.2 seconds back from Felipe Nasr’s fastest qualifying time during the Roar test.

But for Alonso, Daytona is all about gaining experience ahead of an entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans later this year with Toyota. He wants to be sure that he likes and gets sports car racing. While there is little doubt he will – and even less doubt he will be rather good at it, Alonso being Alonso – it will clear up any reservations he may have.

Alonso may dominate the headlines at Daytona through the coming week, but it’s no bad thing for the race. More eyeballs tuning in to see how F1’s star driver is getting on will hopefully help to boost the profile of one of the greatest spectacles in global motorsport.