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Perez keen on future Rolex 24 at Daytona appearance

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Sergio Perez would like to enter the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the future after getting a taste for the sports car event earlier last year when watching his brother race.

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso announced on Thursday he would be entering this year’s race at Daytona with United Autosports, acting as his first foray into sports car racing ahead of a possible shot at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the future.

Alonso is one of the most active drivers in F1 engaging with other championships, leading to questions for his peers about possibly wanting to race at Daytona in the future.

Perez said he was keen to appear in the Rolex 24 someday, having attended last year’s race to see his brother, Antonio Perez, on-track.

“I think it’s good experience,” Perez said. “Obviously, Fernando is wanting to experience that route a lot, with Indy, the 24 Hours and probably he might think of Le Mans.

“I think it’s a great, you know. I think it’s a great experience. It’s one of those races that you would like to do at some point.

“I went there actually last year to see my brother. He did the race the 24 Hours in Daytona, and it’s an amazing race and an amazing venue.

“It’s one race that I definitely want to do at some point in my career.”

While no other drivers openly expressed their interest in Daytona, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen said he would consider doing a sports car race someday, but only alongside his father, ex-F1 racer Jos.

“Of course the first priority is to stay as long as possible in F1, but if I like it then maybe I will do it, but I only want to do it with my dad,” Verstappen said.

“I think after F1 to get the same sensation is really hard, so I try to do that as long as possible.”

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.