Alonso leads Wayne Taylor Racing to victory at Daytona

Wayne Taylor Racing, with anchor driver Fernando Alonso in the #10 Minolta Cadillac, won the rain-wrecked Rolex 24 at Daytona. The race was called 10 minutes short of completion because heavy rain had created driving conditions too dangerous to continue.

The final third of the twice-round-the-clock endurance race was disrupted by rain and poor visibility, and teams complained that the conditions were untenable. Most of the final eight hours was run under a yellow flag and racing was halted under red-flag conditions for the final two hours of the event.

Teams waited at their pit stands for IMSA to make a decision.

Alonso is the third Formula 1 champion to win the Rolex 24, joining Phil Hill in 1964 and Mario Andretti in 1972. Alonso retired from F1 in November and is racing a schedule of bucket-list events this year.

The Spaniard made his Rolex debut last year as a warmup for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He was part of the winning team, and Alonso and Le Mans teammate Kamui Kobayashi joined the Taylor lineup to add Rolex watches to their victory memorabilia – the Japanese driver also a first-time winner of the race.

The winning lineup also included Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande, the full-time drivers of the Cadillac DPI.

The race was stopped and started multiple times during the rain-soaked Saturday-into-Sunday event, seeing Alonso and Co. take the win under red flag conditions.

Alonso overtook Action Express Racing’s Felix Nasr for the lead shortly before the 22-hour mark and held the rest of the way. Alonso started 13th and finished 13th in the 2018 running of the race in the United Autosports Ligier LMP2.

Nasr and his team finished runner-up in the #31 Cadillac DPi, followed by Alexander Rossi in the #7 Acura DPi, along with teammates Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor.

The race will be remembered by a race-winning performance by Alonso who was strong in all conditions but came into his own when the rain came down and turned the track treacherous.

Jordan Taylor also won the Rolex in 2017 when Jeff Gordon was the superstar driver in the lineup. His father, team owner Wayne Taylor, won it in 1996 and 2005.