Fernando Alonso will make his Daytona 24 Hour debut in 2018, having secured a deal with United Autosports for the big American race on January 27th. Zak Brown, Executive Director of McLaren Technology Group, and owner of United Autosports was understandably pleased to confirm one of the biggest racing drivers in the world to his endurance team: "One thing led to another, I’m not exactly sure who initiated the conversation, but the 24 Hours of Daytona cropped up". “As Fernando does, he kinda chats about things, doesn’t really tell you what he’s thinking and then, out of the blue, he goes: ‘I wanna do it.’ That is exactly what happened.” Brown added: “We were in Singapore, and obviously got our F1 deal done, and as soon as we mentally crossed the bridge of getting that sealed, it wasn’t two minutes later before he said, ‘I wanna do Daytona.’ It was really all his decision, you’re not going to talk him into doing something, he decides everything on his own. Alonso is widely known to be keen to try and secure the holy grain of motorsport achievements, the Triple Crown of Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans 24 Hours and Indy 500 victories, and the move towards making his debut in long distance endurance racing as a preparation for an assault on the French 24 Hour classic. “As I spend more time around him, it’s amazing to see the amount of research he does" Said Brown. "He thinks things through, and clearly wants to win Daytona as part of his quest to win Le Mans. "And when you look at United’s line-up – we’ve got some pretty cool drivers in our cars, including Paul di Resta and Lando. "The aim is definitely to go there with the intention of trying to win Daytona – otherwise Fernando wouldn’t wanna do it!” “I think it’s going to be the toughest 24 Hours of Daytona in modern history, based on the quality of the teams and drivers on the entry... “A couple of Penskes, a couple of Joests, Wayne Taylor, Action Express, ESM, Rebellion – going through the list there’s likely 12 cars in with a shot of pole, never mind winning the race. So we’re going to bring our A-game, and it’s going to be awesome". For his part Zak Brown is building up quite a formidable team with the United Autosports Ligier JS P217, driving alongside McLaren Formula One junior driver Lando Norris and young prospect Phil Hanson, forming one side of the two car garage alongside Paul di Resta, Will Owen and another yet-to-be-announced driver in the second car. Both Alonso and United Autosports are aiming high for Daytona, with nothing less than a victory the target for a team very much on the up in the sportscar racing scene. “We did Le Mans this year, finished fourth in class, and fifth overall. Fortunately the P2s are the top class at Daytona [with the DPi category based around them] and I don’t think Fernando would want to drive anything other than the top class car, to go for the overall win.” One thing is for sure, with Alonso adding yet more of a spotlight on one of the best racing events in the whole world the eyes of the motorsport community will be firmly targeted on the US this coming January 26th - 27th. Not sure what to expect from "the 24"? Catch up on the 2017 running of the event below: For more from the world of Grand Prix racing head over to the Formula One sub forum here at RaceDepartment and get involved in this great motorsport community. Looking forward to seeing Alonso in endurance racing? Excited to see more of the Spaniard outside of Formula One? Do you think he will be in with a shout of winning the big race? Let us know in the comments section below!