Keselowski’s likeness to be featured in Ubisoft’s “Watch Dogs”

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Brad Keselowski may not be in the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup, but NASCAR’s defending champion didn’t get through Chicago without making any announcements.

Keselowski’s likeness will be featured in Ubisoft’s new game “Watch Dogs,” which launches in November for both next-generation and current generation platforms. It’s a game where players will be immersed as a vigilante in a recreation of Chicago, to have the ability to hack into the central operating system and control almost every element of the city.

It may sound like an abnormal partnership, but it fits with Keselowski’s love of playing video games and his goal to attract a newer, younger demographic to NASCAR.

“I like to do things that are authentic to me,” Keselowski said in a phone interview Saturday. “I play a lot of video games myself – many similar to ‘Watch Dogs’ – this was my chance to be a part of one, so I jumped on it. I just like the way this fits me, who I am, and my generation.”

Video games served as a needed distraction for Keselowski after winning last year’s title.

“These types of games I play over the offseason, as I usually have the most amount of time to really kill, but I still have a lot of fun with it,” he said. “I pulled a 26-hour shift last year after I won the championship – I just needed to get away from everything. I played another game of Ubisoft’s. It’s a great escape for me to get away from racing.”

Keselowski isn’t hoping to “take much out of it” as much he is expose the sport to a different audience.

His day job resumes with the next round of the season at Loudon, N.H. this weekend.

Fernando Alonso completes first test with United Autosports

Photo: United Autosports
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Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso enjoyed his first outing with United Autosports, with whom he will contest the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in their Ligier JS P217 LMP2 chassis.

The McLaren Formula 1 driver completed the test at Motorland Aragon in Spain alongside co-driver Phil Hanson, who will be a teammate with Alonso at next year’s 24-hour Daytona enduro. Filipe Albuquerque, a former GT class winner at the Rolex 24, was also on hand to help Alonso and the team ahead of Alonso’s first run in an LMP2 car, which comes only a couple days after he made his LMP1 testing debut with Toyota. Albuquerque races with Mustang Sampling Racing in IMSA, but will return to United’s European Le Mans Series program for all but one race in 2018.

“I had a great first test with United Autosports. Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time,” said Alonso, who will rejoin the team at the official Roar Before the 24 test on January 5-7.

Alonso added, “There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car. I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”

Team owner Zak Brown, who also serves as executive director of McLaren Technology Group and helps lead the McLaren Formula 1 effort, shared Alonso’s enthusiasm and was not surprised he was able to acclimate himself relatively quickly.

“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected. He is a world champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car,” he said of Alonso’s debut with the team.

Alonso is currently schedule to contest the Rolex 24 with the aforementioned Hanson and McLaren test driver Lando Norris.