Fernando Alonso, together with his teammates Jordan Taylor, Kamui Kobayashi & Renger Van Der Zande, has won the Daytona 24 Hours.
The famous 24 hour Daytona race, part of the IMSA Weathertech Championship, was curtailed due to bad weather on Sunday, with the event eventually being called ahead of the scheduled end with no hope of it resuming.
Racing for Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing, Alonso, Kobayashi, Van Der Zande & Taylor emerged as winners in the #10 Cadillac after crucially taking the lead before the race stoppage on Sunday. Racing in the prestige DPi class (the equivalent of WEC’s LMP1), the team had to fend off numerous strong challengers.
Pole-sitter team of Mazda Team Joest’s Rene Rast, Timo Bernhard, Oliver Jarvis & Tristan Nunez were compromised early due to engine problems in the opening hours of the event, with the car’s engine compartment catching fire. Within fifteen minutes, the second Mazda of Oliver Pla, Harry Tincknell & Jonathan Bomarito also caught fire; ending the challenge of both Mazdas.
Before things all went Cadillac’s way, the two Penske Acuras encountered trouble. The #7 crew of Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor & Alexander Rossi had been leading the race before Taylor became ill while driving the car under Safety Car and the team were forced to change drivers before the race was curtailed. The other Penske, driven by Juan Pablo Montoya, Simon Pagenaud & Dane Cameron fell out of contention with five hours remaining when a telemetry issue brought the #6 into the pits with a suspected engine problem.
This left the #10 & #31 Cadillac, driven by Felipe Nasr, Eric Curran, & Pipo Derani, to fight for the win. With Alonso at the wheel, the #10 got past in one of the rare green flag periods with just over two hours remaining and thus held the win when the race was called ten minutes prior to the scheduled finish time.
The race win marks Alonso’s first ever win on American soil, and adds to his increasingly illustrious list of achievements in sportscar racing alongside his part in the Le Mans 24 Hours victory with Toyota in WEC in 2018.
Felipe Nasr’s #31 Cadillac squad finished up in P2, with former Manor F1 driver Alexander Rossi part of the Penske team that wrapped up third place.
Former F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello finished P5 with his teammates Devlin Defrancesco, Tristan Vautier & Misha Goikhberg in the #85 JDC-Miller Cadillac.
Outside the DPi class, Pastor Maldonado was part of the winning LMP2 class as he, Ryan Cullen, Roberto Gonzalez & Sebastian Saavedra won for DragonSpeed Oreca.
YES!!!!!!!!! We did it!!! 🏆 24h of DAYTONA 🏆! Thanks to the all @WayneTaylorRcng and my team mates @jordan10taylor @kamui_kobayashi @Rengervdz !! TOMAAAA!! #daytona24 #cadillac #WTR pic.twitter.com/6TiF6sC8DM
— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) January 27, 2019