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Alonso targets pace gains as Nasr leads Roar qualifying at Daytona

Written by  Jan 08, 2018

Fernando Alonso admits he and his United Autosports team need to find performance gains after only claiming 12th in the mock qualifying to decide team garages at the Roar test event before the Daytona 24 Hours in just under three weeks time.

The event in Florida is the two-time Formula 1 world champion's first foray into sportscars and his experience will likely determine whether he attempts at the Le Mans 24 Hours later in the year as part of his ambition to become just the second driver in history to win motorsport's Triple Crown.

The Spaniard couldn't contain his excitement ahead of his first trip to the Daytona International Speedway and offering his initial impression it seems his enthusiasm remains undampened.

“I think it was a positive weekend,” Alonso said. “Obviously it’s nice to have the first run in the car and experience the circuit for the first time.

"There are small things that you keep learning lap after lap," he added. "The sessions are quite short and you share the car with your teammates, so it’s not that the amount of laps are huge but they are better than nothing."

Adapting to the different challenges of endurance racing was one of the key goals for the first few days of running, which Alonso claimed had been achieved. Forever the competitive animal, however, the McLaren F1 driver wasn't satisfied with being outside the top 10 in the first competitive session and 1.7 seconds off the leading pace.

"With the performance of the car, it’s early days, it’s only testing," he said, "but we need to find more pace and hopefully be more competitive when we come back in the race.”

The fastest man in the qualifying session was ex-Sauber F1 driver Felipe Nasr as the top four positions were filled by Cadillac entries. Track action will resume on January 25 with further practice and official qualifying before the 24 hours begin on January 27.

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