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“Hopefully, it’s a positive answer.!”: Alonso draws laughter explaining ‘seatbelt between the legs’ issue

Fernando Alonso hit the Daytona banking yesterday for the very first time, running his first laps strapped into his United Autosport LMP2 on the first day of the 'Roar Before the 24' preliminary test.

The Spaniard completed just a handful of laps in the car he shall be sharing at the end of the month in the Rolex 24 with junior drivers Lando Norris and Phil Hanson, but reported back with a positive view.

"Unfortunately, this was only a short time, three laps this morning, but enough to have feeling in the car and on the speedway as well," Alonso said.

"Obviously, the high banking is special and you feel the compression there in the body and the visibility change…

"It was good fun. Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of track time but we're going to get more in the second session. So far, so good."

It was an uncomfortable baptism of fire however, with the McLaren driver claiming to have suffered a bit of a squeeze on his family jewels while sitting in the car!

"The biggest thing, so far, is the seatbelts," Alonso said.

"You know, the one that goes between our legs. It uh, needs to be longer… So, uh, yeah, that was the biggest challenge that we need to figure out."

On a more serious note, the two-time world champion said his experience at Daytona would likely determine whether he feels up to the task of racing competitively at Le Mans later this year with Toyota.

"Doing this race is some kind of first step in endurance championship [driving], how these races are and how much I enjoy these races," said Alonso.

"Hopefully, it’s a positive answer.

"After the Daytona 24 Hours, I will have a better understanding of these championships and the Le Mans 24 Hours and the triple crown is another target.

"So if I can fit in the Le Mans 24 Hours this year that I’m not doing the Indy 500, that will be great and hopefully the following year the Indy 500 can be in the plan again."


As he embarks on a new challenge, Alonso admits he's on a learning curve, but it won't deter him from pulling out all the stops if his #23 Ligier JS P217 if fighting for victory at the end of the month.

"It’s more or less the same goal as Indianapolis – first of all, try to learn different driving techniques, try to learn from the specialists of endurance races, try to be a better driver when the 24 hours finishes," he added.

"It’s the first time for me in an endurance race, first time in a prototype car, first time driving at night, first time driving with GT [cars] around so many new things that will come step by step.

"That’s quite a big challenge but I’m ready to enjoy first of all and, as happened at Indianapolis, if you feel the opportunity, if you feel competitive, you go for it."



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