The No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R of Fernando Alonso, Jordan Taylor, Kamui Kobayashi and Renger van der Zande has won the 2019 24 Hours of Daytona under a red flag stoppage for rain.
Alonso took a late-race lead in the Konica Minolta Cadillac after Felipe Nasr overshot Turn 1, the Brazilian unable to stop his No .31 Action Express Cadillac due to the water that had pooled up on the track. Nasr, who shared the No. 31 car with Pipo Derani and Eric Curran, was classified second, while the No. 7 Acura DPi of Ricky Taylor, Helio Castroneves and Alexander Rossi rounded out the podium in third.
While the No. 10 car looked to be in contention for the win for the majority of the race, it was not until the rain began falling at 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning that the team truly came alive. With Alonso behind the wheel, the No. 10 car passed both Acuras and began to form a sizeable lead over the two Team Penske run prototypes. A number of caution periods prevented the team from growing the lead even further and a red flag period eventually brought the car into the pits, with Alonso turning the car over to Taylor. When the race restarted, Taylor and Nasr engaged in an intense battle before he pitted to hand the car back to Alonso. The race was then stopped under a red flag after 23 hours and 50 minutes.
“I am very proud if the job we achieve today,” Alonso said. “It was not a one day job it was a one month job. Receiving the documents about how the car works and how the team works. We had a quick lesson at the Roar and had a good test. We were racing in cooler temperatures that we run so far. We had a plan to execute the race and followed it step-by-step. We made some changes to conditions, but there was a plan for that too. I’ve won races around the world, to add one here in America is great.”
“All four drivers did great in their own right,” added Taylor. “We all drove the Cadillac to the lead. We had the right game plan, no car damage and no one went off of the track. That is how you win these races. The team had a great strategy and did a great job to adjust things when the rain came. We actually had a low downforce setup that we kept on the car during the rain. That helped us to pass some cars in the rain.”
In GTLM, the No. 3 and No. 4 Corvette C7.Rs of Corvette Racing struggled. The No. 4 car crashed under rainy conditions at Turn 1 in the early hours of Sunday morning, while the No. 3 car ran out of fuel at the bus stop chicane. Both were able to carry on, but fell off the lead lap. They were classified sixth and eighth in class. The No. 25 BMW M8 GTLM won the class overall, with the No. 61 Ferrari and No. 912 Porsche completing the podium.
Click here for full results by class from the 2019 24 Hours of Daytona. The 2019 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Challenge season will continue with the running of the 12 Hours of Sebring in late March.