In torrential rain, Fernando Alonso wins the Rolex 24 at Daytona

In torrential rain, Fernando Alonso wins the Rolex 24 at Daytona

Of course teammates Renger van der Zande, Jordan Taylor and Kamui Kobayashi contributed greatly to the win for the #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, but there is no doubt the Spanish driver drew on his talent and experience at this particularly wet running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Rubens Barrichello is well-known in the world of motorsport as an expert in the rain. From a very young age, the Brazilian driver has often trained at the Interlagos circuit where rainstorms are as frequent as they are sudden. He rather enjoys the tricky conditions! Having mastered aquaplaning on four wheels, no matter the vehicle (karting, single-seater, GT or prototype), the former F1 driver represented JDC Miller Motorsports at the wheel of a Cadillac DPi-V.R at this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Two hours from the checkered flag after the Red Flag was deployed, Rubens Barrichello said to a TV reporter: "You know how much I love to drive in the rain. But this is truly impossible. Not only is there zero visibility, but aquaplaning...especially in the Bus Stop particularly dangerous. Bringing out the red flag was the best decision. There was no way we could continue driving, we knew it. It's better not to take any more risks. Despite this weather, the Rolex 24 at Daytona is still a wonderful race."

In the 15th hour, an incessant downpour began disrupting this running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona (47 cars at the start). A Full Course Yellow, a Red Flag and a few minutes of racing followed. Then, less than two hours from the finish, the race was stopped once again. Fernando Alonso, who had just overtaken Felipe Nasr, led the pack disoriented by the deluge. The chaos that ensued among the many DPis, LMP2s and GTs became simply too dangerous.

After hoping in vain conditions on the track would improve, with only 11 minutes left in the race, Race Direction decided to wave the checkered flag on this year's edition of the race.

The 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona was won by the #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R shared by Kobayashi, Taylor, van der Zande and Alonso.

Fernando Alonso, 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans winner with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing and current leader in the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) standings, has proven he has adapted remarkably to endurance racing. Will he try his hand at other famous 24-hour races like the Nürburgring or Spa? For now, the two-time F1 world champion is going after the Triple Crown, and to that end is set to take the start at the Indianapolis 500 in May with McLaren. If he wins, he will join Graham Hill, so far the only driver to have won the F1 Monaco Grand Prix, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indy 500. Alonso is also looking to win another world title after the finale of the 2018-2019 FIA WEC Super Season at the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans (15-16 June).  

In LMP2, the top step on the podium was claimed by DragonSpeed's #18 ORECA 07 driven by Saavedra-Maldonado-Cullen-Gonzales. The GTLM class was won by the #25 BMW M8 of Farfus-De Phillippi-Eng-Herta. And first place in GTD went to GRT Grasser Racing Team's #11 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 shared by Engelhart-Breukers-Ineichen-Bortolotti.


PHOTO (Copyright - IMSA)