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Alonso setting higher targets for 2019 Rolex 24

In his first event since retiring from Formula One, Fernando Alonso is preparing himself to take on the 24 Hours of Daytona for the second time.

The two-time F1 champion took part in the event in 2018, driving for United Autosports alongside Lando Norris and Phil Hanson.

The trio showed strong top-ten pace throughout the event, but master cylinder problems and a puncture – resulting in bodywork damage – hampered their race, and they finished well down the order.

This year, Alonso has joined a team with recent success at the 24 Hours of Daytona, Wayne Taylor Racing, who took pole position at last year’s event before hitting technical troubles in the race.

Alonso will be driving alongside former Formula One driver Kamui Kobayashi, 2017 winner Jordan Taylor and multiple IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race-winner Renger van der Zande.

Speaking in between test sessions – known as the ‘Roar Before the 24’ – where he and his team-mate’s topped two of the five practices, Alonso said that his focus is on challenging for the win in Daytona.

“This year, I’m coming to Daytona with a lot more experience,” Alonso said. “It’s not my first time in an endurance race. Now, I know the traffic, I know the night, I know the circuit as well. This year, I’m in a very competitive environment with a very competitive team that’s had a lot of success here at Daytona. I’m hoping to be more competitive, and enjoy the race more this year.

“Last year [at Daytona] was about preparation for Le Mans. This year is now about winning.

“[Last year] was my first endurance race of my life, my first closed-cockpit experience, and now I’m ready to enjoy it a little bit more. So far it’s been great, the target this year is definitely to be a bit more competitive on the track side. I’m happy that we can be in a good position.”

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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