Norris, di Resta begin Rolex 24 preparations at Paul Ricard

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Lando Norris and Paul di Resta took the first step on their preparations for the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January by testing with United Autosports at Paul Ricard in France this week.

McLaren Formula 1 youngster Norris and ex-Force India racer di Resta will form part of United Autosports’ two-car line-up for the 24-hour classic at Daytona, with the race acting as a sports car debut for both drivers.

As part of their preparations, Norris and di Resta took part in a private test with United Autosports in the team’s Ligier JS P217 at Paul Ricard this week, completing laps alongside existing team members Filipe Albuquerque and Philip Hanson.

The Rolex 24 will act as the first event in a busy year for Norris, with his expanded role as McLaren’s reserve and test driver confirmed and a full-season campaign in Formula 2 planned.

Di Resta is still to determine his racing plans, but is in the running for a return to F1 full-time with Williams after an impressive stand-in appearance in Hungary when Felipe Massa became unwell.

Norris and di Resta will be joined at Daytona by two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso, who will make his sports car debut in the Rolex 24 ahead of a possibe shot at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

Will Power nips Jack Harvey at finish to pace Road America practice

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Will Power led the only IndyCar Road America practice of the weekend Saturday, shooting to the top of the chart on his 22nd and final lap of the session at 1 minute, 46.0021 seconds in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet.

Dixon knocked Jack Harvey’s No. 60 Dallara-Honda from the top spot (which would have marked the first time that a Meyer-Shank Racing car led practice).

Josef Newgarden, Power’s Team Penske teammate, was third, followed by Felix Rosenqvist and Ryan Hunter-Reay (who went off course late in the session but sustained no damage).

Alex Palou, Colton Herta, Graham Rahal, defending race winner Alexander Rossi and Pato O’Ward rounded out the top 10 in the practice that preceded a Saturday-Sunday race weekend doubleheader for IndyCar at Road America.

PRACTICE RESULTS: Click here to see who was fastest in the session

RACE INFORMATION: What you need to know for today’s REV Group Grand Prix

RATED ROOKIE: Rinus VeeKay rebounding well from a tough debut

IndyCar tested some new cooling devices with cars from Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske. Several drivers have said the cockpit heat caused by the new aeroscreen was stifling during last week’s GMR Grand Prix, and IndyCar repositioned drink bottles this weekend to keep liquids cool. The pieces tried by IndyCar during the Road America practice won’t be available during the races Saturday and Sunday at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, road course.

Scott Dixon, who is seeking to open the season with his third consecutive IndyCar victory, was 15th fastest in the 75-minute session. Other notables in Road America practice: Marco Andretti (12th), Simon Pagenaud (19th).

Power is aiming for his second consecutive pole position after qualifying first last week on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Qualifying for the REV Group Grand Prix Race #1 will take place at 2:15 p.m. ET (NBCSNNBC Sports Gold).

The broadcast of the IndyCar race at Road America will begin at 5 p.m. on NBCSN.