Fernando Alonso wins Daytona 24 Hours after 'perfect execution'
00:41, Jan 30, 2019
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Alonso got his first taste of endurance racing last year at Daytona, struggling with mechanical problems to finish 38th overall, but he went on to win last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The elements were at work on Sunday, as the importance of patience and perseverance meshed with the need for speed during a rainy, 57th running of the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA at Daytona International Speedway.
But when the puddles turned to small ponds and the unrelenting rain made it almost impossible to see, the two-time Formula One champion had enough. The rain began in the middle of the night about 16 hours into the race, and much of the next eight hours were either run under the red or yellow flags to prevent crashes due to hydroplaning.
"Just an unbelievable experience - ideal execution for the race", Alonso said, per BBC.
Taylor Racing Wayne, with anchor driver Fernando Alonso, has won the rain-wrecked Rolex 24 at Daytona. "But I can't even put into words how great this win is for us".
In torrential rain, Alonso passed Brazilian Felipe Nasr in the Action Express Racing Cadillac to take the lead for what was to be the final time.
Alonso first raced in Daytona in 2018.
Already the victor of last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 37-year-old Alonso will attempt to complete the Triple Crown of motorsports by capturing the Indy 500 in May. His father, team owner Wayne Taylor, won it in 1996 and 2005. We tried to have a quick integration, Kamui and myself, trying to learn as much as we could from the team in the Roar (Before the 24 test days) and then, on the race itself, it was very, very hard.
Teams waited almost two hours before IMSA called the race 10 minutes before the scheduled conclusion.
He added: "We had a plan to execute the race and followed it step by step".
"To win this kind of endurance racing at iconic places like Daytona means a lot", Alonso said. Conditions were changing all the time.
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. Thanks a lot to my teammates, the whole team, and I'm very happy to bring home a (Rolex) watch and a lot of victory feelings.
"I think to win in different series and win in different disciplines in motorsport which are quite specific, you need to probably be born with that talent and grow up with that knowledge of that series - like oval racing in IndyCar and things like that", he said.
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