Fernando Alonso (and co) won the 24 hours of Daytona


The first race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season featured two red flags due to rain for the first time ever and ended at 2:25 pm Eastern time with about 10 minutes to go under the second rain-soaked red.

There have been plenty of wild finishes in the 57 editions of the iconic Rolex 24 At Daytona. The final F1 race of 2018 was the last for Alonso in Formula 1. "We led in night, day, dry and wet".

"Right now full focus is on the Indy 500", he said.

"Amazing. Just an awesome experience from the test and flawless execution for the race", Alonso said.

The Spaniard now has won the Rolex, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Monaco Grand Prix. The others on that most illustrious short list: 1964 Rolex 24 champion Phil Hill and 1972 champion Mario Andretti. Alonso, who retired from F1 at the end of last season, teamed up with drivers Renger van Der Zande, Jordan Taylor, and Kamui Kobayashi to give the win to the no. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac for Wayne Taylor Racing. His father, team owner Wayne Taylor, won it in 1996 and 2005. It featured a powerful pass of the No.31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Pipo Derani at the 19-hour, 20-minute mark, then a remarkable maneuver to avoid a spinning GT-class auto ahead of him under heavy braking into turn one.

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"In December we started preparing for the race.we tried to have a quick integration, Kamui and myself, trying to learn as much as we could from the team and then, on the race itself, it was very, very hard. [I'm] really happy for the team and all the guys". Conditions were changing all the time. "The safety vehicle was pointing toward the wall at one point". I haven't been doing this very long.

Alonso spent his stints reminding the motorsport world that he really is rather brilliant when given a vehicle that's actually competitive.

Two of Alonso's three stints in the auto 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. Whether you're racing for an hour or a whole day, anything can happen.

In GT Daytona, Rolf Ineichen, Mirko Bartolotti, Christian Engelhart and Rik Breukers co-driving the No. 11 Lamborghini Huracan GT3, which also won the GTD class a year ago.

"I think in the past it was a little bit more open, motorsport in general".