Alonso claims maiden Daytona 24-hour victory

Alonso claims maiden Daytona 24-hour victory

Alonso claims maiden Daytona 24-hour victory

Rain halted the race twice, cars skidding and sliding in wet conditions around the 12-turn, 2.5-mile (4km) road course at Florida's Daytona International Speedway.

Alonso joined teammates Jordan Taylor, Renger van der Zande and Kamui Kobayashi in the No.10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac, taking overall victory in the DPi class.

Alonso was forced to retire in the closing stages of the Indy 500 when he first competed in May 2017, and will return The Brickyard again this year for another shot at the crown.

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.

This year Alonso is back.

The Spaniard became only the third Formula One champion to win the race, joining Phil Hill (1964) and Mario Andretti (1972).

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. Alonso promptly raced his way into the lead, and logged 44 laps led before turning the vehicle over to van der Zande just past the four-hour, 30-minute mark.

"I think it will rank very high", Alonso said.

"Very, very proud of the job we achieved today", said Alonso, who also co-drove to victory in last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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.

Teams waited almost two hours before IMSA called the race 10 minutes before the scheduled conclusion. We're very happy, there's a great cohesion in the team, we've got some fantastic partners and we're just working more together.

In the LMP2 class, Roberto Gonzalez, Pastor Maldonado, Sebastian Saavedra and Ryan Cullen in the No. 18 ORECA LMP2. He competed in the Rolex previous year as a warmup for Le Mans but returned this time intent on winning the Rolex watch. Those events are typically around two hours, and Alonso eclipsed that in his first stint in the vehicle.

Hours of early morning rain spelled doom for the hopes of Alonso's nearest rivals.

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

"The plan is to take a shower, relax a little bit, have some food and try to sleep", Alonso said. "You had to survive every lap".

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