Fernando Alonso believes he will return to the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the future after a positive first experience in the sports car race last weekend, seeing it as a good way to keep sharp through Formula 1's winter break.

Two-time F1 world champion Alonso joined up with United Autosports for his sports car debut at Daytona International Speedway, and ran at the front of the field early on before reliability woes left the Spaniard and teammates Lando Norris and Phil Hanson 90 laps down in 38th place at the chequered flag.

The race acted as preparation for Alonso to enter the 24 Hours of Le Mans later this year with Toyota as part of a wider programme in the FIA World Endurance Championship that was announced on Tuesday.

While Daytona does not form part of the 'triple crown of motorsport' that Alonso is bidding to become just the second driver in history to complete, the McLaren F1 driver said he expects to return to the race in the future as means of preparation during the winter.

"I think so," Alonso said when asked about returning to the Rolex 24.

"I think it’s a race that is in January where normally the motorsport calendar is quite empty, where I think for us drivers it’s quite convenient to come here to do this race. It’s an iconic race, a prestigious race.

"As I said this is one part of the year when we are quite relaxed, normally preparing ourselves for our season in whatever category you are.

"Instead of being on the bicycle or in the gym, you are driving, so it’s a nice way."

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