F1 champion Alonso wins rain-soaked Rolex 24 at Daytona

Ex-Formula One driver Fernando Alonso

Last year Alonso was part of the United Autosports team, but mechanical issues sidelined the team near the halfway point of the 24-hour race.

"Fernando Alonso is one of the most impressive guys I've ever seen, when I heard him come on the radio and absolutely talking in fear I suddenly realised, 'Let's not race any more'". The winning lineup also included Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande, the full-time drivers of the Cadillac Dpi. With safety top of mind, the stewards finally threw the red flag for a second time due to the torrential downfall and let that stoppage continue on to the end of the race.

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

Alonso now has both of sportscar racing's blue-riband events - Le Mans and Daytona - on his CV, becoming also the third F1 world champion to win the Daytona 24 Hours after Phil Hill and Mario Andretti.

Alexander Rossi was the only other driver to finish in the lead lap. 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.

The 32-year-old Dutchman, who most recently brought home a thrilling win for the team on the last turn of the last lap of last year's season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, played it relatively conservatively during his opening stint and led 18 laps before handing the vehicle back to Taylor in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

"Whenever you put a guy in a different auto on a different track, normally it takes four or five laps for them to get (comfortable)", said Rolex winning team owner Wayne Taylor.

"It wasn't a matter of lap times or anything like that". We're enjoying our racing... From his position one second behind Nasr, Alonso watched the identical Cadillac sail wide and into the run-off area before taking the lead that he would hold until the race was stopped. The results were determined after 23 hours and 10 minutes. We're here to show that we're capable of winning races.

The next big event on his schedule is the Indianapolis 500 in May, the one victory he needs to complete auto racing's unofficial version of the Triple Crown.

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.

"I'm disappointed as [his son] Jordan has won as many 24s as I have, and I never wanted this day to happen!" said Taylor.



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