F1 champion Alonso wins rain-soaked Rolex 24 at Daytona

F1 champion Alonso wins rain-soaked Rolex 24 at Daytona

The Rolex 24 at Daytona has resumed after a stoppage of more than 90 minutes for rain. Jordan Taylor and Renger van Der Zande are the full-time drivers and have been adapting to Alonso's fame.

But when the puddles turned to small ponds and the unrelenting rain made it almost impossible to see, the two-time Formula One champion had enough. Alonso's win in Daytona made him the third F1 champion to win the Rolex, joining Phil Hill and Mario Andretti.

In the GT Le Mans class, Augusto Farfus, Connor De Phillippi, Philipp Eng and Colton Herta co-driving the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE.

Two of Alonso's three stints in the vehicle were during the rain, in part because F1 had made him the most experienced driver on the Taylor lineup in wet conditions, and because he had the control and steadiness to manage the risks versus reward in a torrential rainstorm. "To win endurance races in iconic places like Daytona is great". I have to say thanks to [McLaren CEO] Zak Brown for making this happen. He noted after that that his sports vehicle career was exactly a year old and continued to hint at his future.

After struggling to crack the top-five all through practice and qualifying in lead-up to Saturday and Sunday's twice-around-the-clock endurance marathon, it took little time for the No.10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R to find its way to the lead. The field was led to the green flag by Oliver Jarvis in the pole-sitting No. 77 Mazda DPi.

"Just an wonderful experience - ideal execution for the race", Alonso said, "We were competitive in everything - dry, wet, night, day".

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The first half of the race were run under normal conditions and saw a straightforward and thrilling battle between the WTR and Action Express Racing Cadillacs and the Penske Acuras.

The Spaniard - who has also won at Le Mans - made his debut in the Daytona race a year ago, finishing in 38th position. Those events are typically around two hours, and Alonso eclipsed that in his first stint in the auto. Taylor's final stint of the weekend netted 17 of 43 laps led through very wet conditions.

The No.10 was in P1 when the result was finally declared after 23 hours and 50 minutes.

Team boss Wayne Taylor explained earlier this month how hard it had been for him to secure Alonso for the race. We tried to have a quick integration, Kamui and myself, trying to learn as much as we could from the team in the Roar (Before the 24 test days) and then, on the race itself, it was very, very hard. Conditions were changing all the time. The race was plagued by rain storms from 05:00 in the morning and was stopped for good due to heavy rain with two hours remaining. But who were Fernando Alonso and the Wayne Taylor Racing crew to complain! We're here to show that we're capable of winning races. "I thought, 'How are we going to manage this?' He was just terrific".

The four-car chase lost one of its protagonists around the 20-hour mark when the #6 Acura of Simon Pagenaud dropped out of contention with a broken oil pump. "Daytona is one of those venues and speedways that you would like to win eventually one day in your career. I think it's a huge testament to Wayne Taylor Racing".

"I can't even put it into words". It's a big puzzle and it comes together in this victory here right now. "Yeah, I'm sad, happy, relieved ... but most of all I'm at peace with myself and I think that's what's most important". "Formula 1, when it starts in March, it's true you are busy".

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