Fernando Alonso wins Daytona 24 Hours after 'perfect execution'

Alonso powered past three-time Indianapolis 500 victor Helio Castroneves to put his Cadillac DPi into the early lead in the twice-round-the-clock endurance race at Daytona International Speedway.

There are plenty of opportunities for Alonso all over the world, and his next big announcement could be next year's Dakar Rally in Paris.

The 24-hour race at the Florida circuit was red flagged twice because of rain.

That helped make Daytona among Alonso's most satisfying triumphs. "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".

When the safety auto finally pulled the field down pit lane, Alonso grabbed an umbrella and went to talk to the driver. However there has been no official confirmation of any plans for him to test the vehicle. "I was following him and he had a massive moment aquaplaning". Immediately after, he called red flag. Class leaders fell, cars in every class were trashed as they skidded across the asphalt and grass, and drivers yearned for a solution to the high-dollar demolition-derby. "You almost crashed. Conditions are tricky.' He said like, 'It's not my call" or something like that". After a one-hour, 45-minute stoppage, racing resumed.

The race was red-flagged three laps later as Alonso and most of the rest of the field reported near zero visibility under heavy rains just short of the 22-hour mark.

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"I think it was an interesting race with the conditions changing, very tough, but I think, like everyone else says, everyone did their job", said Taylor, who scored his 21st career victory.

"[There were] very different conditions, we've been competitive in everything: dry and wet, night and day". Alonso, who has two F1 titles, retired from that series in November.

This is Alonso's second year in the Rolex, last year was his sports vehicle and endurance racing debut, and it was ultimately a test to see if he was up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Alonso's remaining 2019 schedule includes the 1,000 miles of Sebring on March 15 and the 6 Hours of Spa on May 4 before his bid to win the Indy 500.

Wayne Taylor Racing now has four overall Rolex victories. Alonso becomes the third former Formula 1 champion to also win the Rolex 24.

The double F1 World Champion teamed up with Jordan Taylor, Kamui Kobayashi and Renger van der Zande in the Wayne Taylor Racing No. 10 Konica Minolta DPi Cadillac.

  • Lawrence Cooper