TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+

Fernando Alonso Co-Drives to Rolex 24 At DAYTONA Victory

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: Daytona International Speedway // 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.

It seems history was at work, as well.

Former Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso and his Wayne Taylor Racing teammates emerged from the wet to win the event, which was halted under red-flag conditions due to increasingly heavy rain at 2:25 p.m., 10 minutes short of the scheduled time limit. Alonso becomes the third former Formula 1 champion to also win the Rolex 24. The others on that most illustrious short list: 1964 Rolex 24 champion Phil Hill and 1972 champion Mario Andretti.

Alonso, racing in the Rolex 24 for the second-straight year, co-drove the No. 10 Cadillac DPi with Jordan Taylor, Renger van der Zande and Kamui Kobayashi. Finishing second was the No. 31 Cadillac DPi of Whelen Engineering Racing, co-driven by Felipe Nasr, Eric Curran and Pipo Derani.

After a cold and windy Saturday, the rains came to the Rolex 24 in the wee hours of Sunday morning – and hung around for the balance of the 24-hour sports car endurance classic that opened the season for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Weather worsened to the point of necessitating a red flag at 7:21 a.m., just short of the 17-hour mark. After a one-hour, 45-minute stoppage, racing resumed.

Amidst alternating green- and yellow-flag conditions, the second red flag was brought out by heavy rain at 12:39 p.m. It was the first time the race had been red-flagged twice due to wet conditions. Seven minutes earlier, Alonso had gotten by Nasr in Turn 1. It proved to be the race-winning move.

“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. “The race itself was very, very difficult. Conditions were changing all the time. But we had perfect execution. We led in night, day, dry and wet.”

Grand Marshal and five-time Rolex 24 champion Scott Pruett gave the command to start engines on Saturday afternoon, with 47 cars across four WeatherTech Championship classes negotiating the 3.56-mile road course. The field was led to the green flag by Oliver Jarvis in the pole-sitting No. 77 Mazda DPi.

The highly-anticipated runs by the two Mazda Team Joest entries, however, failed to pan out. The pole-sitting Mazda left the race at the seven-hour mark after catching fire, having completed 220 laps. It ended 46th. A short while later, the team’s No. 55 car, which started fourth, developed a fuel leak problem and would finish 42nd.

A significant sidebar to his Rolex 24 morphed into an emotional farewell for three-time and defending Rolex 24 champion Christian Fittipaldi, who has announced he will retire from competition after this weekend. With his team’s No. 5 Cadillac DPi out of contention in the closing hours after battling several mechanical problems on Saturday, Fittipaldi came into the speedway media center for a final press conference. He was almost immediately overcome with emotion, unable to choke back the tears – much less answer the first question he received, until media members broke into applause, as encouragement. A cardinal rule of journalism impartiality had been broken, or at least bent. In this instance, no one cared.

“Racing has played a major role in my life but life is not only about racing … it was a great ride,” said Fittipaldi, a former IndyCar Series standout and the nephew of former Formula 1 and Indianapolis 500 champion Emerson Fittipaldi.

“I had three goals when I arrived here this year. One was to finish, the second was to finish on the podium and the third goal was the cherry on top of the cake, to get two wins in a row and fourth [overall]. But it didn’t happen.

Yeah, I’m sad, happy, relieved … but most of all I’m at peace with myself and I think that’s what’s most important.”

The inspiring Rolex 24 entry of Alex Zanardi ended with a 32nd-place finish in the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE. Zanardi is the former IndyCar driver who lost both legs after an accident in 2001. In years since, he has become one of the world’s top hand-cyclists while occasionally returning to the race track in specially equipped cars.

In addition to the headlining DPi class, three other classes competed in the Rolex 24. Those winners:

·       In the LMP2 class, Roberto Gonzalez, Pastor Maldonado, Sebastian Saavedra and Ryan Cullen in the No. 18 ORECA LMP2.

·       In the GT Le Mans class, Augusto Farfus, Connor De Phillippi, Philipp Eng and Colton Herta co-driving the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE.

·       In GT Daytona, Rolf Ineichen, Mirko Bartolotti, Christian Engelhart and Rik Breukers co-driving the No. 11 Lamborghini Huracan GT3, which also won the GTD class last year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

VIDEO NEWS

National Politics

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Harvard pulls Parkland grad’s admission over racist comments

BOSTON (AP) — A Parkland school shooting survivor says Harvard University revoked his acceptance over…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

US restores some aid but vows no more without migrant action

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration said Monday it is easing previously announced cuts in…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Beto O’Rourke Honors Pulse Anniversary, Releases LGBTQ+ Plan

NEW YORK, NY — Beto O’Rourke unveiled a robust plan today to protect LGBTQ+ rights…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

2016 Orange County for Trump Chairman Keynotes “Tennessee Task Force 45” Rally in Memphis June 27th

MEMPHIS, Tn. (FNN NEWS) -  2016 Orange County for Trump Chairman and Florida National News…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

TRUMP VISITS ORLANDO: Florida Democrats and Activists to Hold Win With Love Rally

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Florida Democrats will hold a counter rally with thousands of…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Governor Ron DeSantis Highlights Computer Science and STEM Achievements in Pinellas County

LARGO, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis visited Ridgecrest Elementary School in Pinellas County to…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Plan to Evaluate Security of Elections Systems in Florida and a Total of $5.1 Million for Election Cybersecurity

Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Department of State (DOS)…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Andrew Jeng Enters Florida House District 43 Race in Osceola County

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Former Kissimmee City Commission candidate and tech business owner Andrew Jeng…

FNN SPORTS

  • Toronto Raptors Superfan Nav Bhati has words with a hard-core Orlando Magic fan during Round 1, Game 3 of the NBA Playoffs in which the Magic hosted the Raptors at Amway Center Friday, April 19, 2019. Photo by Willie David / Florida National News
    TORONTO, Ca. (FNN SPORTS) – Move Over, Kawhi and Drake: Toronto Superfan Nav Bhati Steals NBA Spotlight

MORE SPORTS NEWS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

“90 for 90” campaign to celebrate 90 years of Golf Legend Arnold Palmer

ORLANDO, Fla. – In honor of what would have been Arnold Palmer’s 90th birthday this…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

U.S. Army Colonel Hal Kushner Named Honorary Pace Truck Driver for the Coke Zero Sugar 400

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Retired U.S. Army Col. Hal Kushner, an area resident who served…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Warriors beat Raptors 109-104 to even NBA Finals

TORONTO (AP) — The Golden State Warriors relied on a champion’s heart to overcome their…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Analysis: Why the Raptors will win the NBA Finals

TORONTO (AP) — Last time Kawhi Leonard played Golden State in the playoffs, he was…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Adam Silver reveals advice he’s given to Zion Williamson

TORONTO (AP) — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says he has already offered presumed No. 1…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

New Hope for Kids Announce the Mascots for 26th Annual Mascot Games

ORLANDO, Fla. – New Hope for Kids has announced the Mascots that will compete in…

BUSINESS NEWS

  • Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh held a press conference Monday on returning $1 billion to the tax roll. (Photo by Willie David / Florida National News)
    ORLANDO (FNN NEWS) - Property Appraiser Rick Singh Recovers $1 Billion for Orange County Tax Roll (Photo by Willie David / Florida National News)

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Trump Delays Imposing Tariffs on Auto Imports and Parts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Caught in a sprawling trade dispute with U.S. rival China, President Donald…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

US to Add 30,000 Seasonal Worker Visas as Soon as This Week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration plans to allow 30,000 more foreign workers temporarily into…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Shark Tank Star Daymond John, DWTS's Lindsay Arnold, Joey Fatone to Host Runway to Hope 2019 Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Runway to Hope co-founder Attorney Mark NeJame announced on Facebook Wednesday…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Bank of America Raising Hourly Minimum Wage to $20

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America plans to raise its starting pay to $20…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Pinterest sets sites on $1.5B in first public share offering

NEW YORK (AP) — Pinterest, among a gaggle of tech companies planning to go public…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Gone in 6 minutes: an Ethiopian Airlines jet’s final journey

From nearly the moment they roared down the runway and took off in their new…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

  • “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” star Brad Pitt is all smiles on the 2019 Cannes Film Festival red carpet for the film's premiere Tuesday, May 21. Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept Magazine/Florida National News.
    CANNES, France (FNN NEWS) - [PHOTOS] 2019 Cannes Film Festival: ‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood’ Stars Electrify the Red Carpet (Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept Magazine/Florida National News)

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

blink-182 and Lil Wayne Join Forces for Co-Headlining Summer Tour

LOS ANGELES, Ca. (LiveNation) — Multi-platinum, award winning artists blink-182 and Lil Wayne announced they’ll be hitting the road together…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Kevin Spacey appears at court for hearing in groping case

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — Sporting a gray suit and glasses, Kevin Spacey appeared Monday at…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Taylor Swift asks Tennessee senator to support Equality Act

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Taylor Swift says she’s kicking off Pride Month by asking Tennessee’s…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

A diminished ‘Godzilla’ still bests ‘Rocketman,’ ‘Ma’

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest iteration of the Godzilla franchise took over the top…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Russians criticize heavily edited version of Elton John film

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian gay rights activists and cultural figures are criticizing the local distributor…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

R. Kelly charged with 11 new sex-related crimes in Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors charged R&B singer R. Kelly on Thursday with 11 new sex-related…

LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL & TOURISM

  • This cruise line rivals Broadway with 134 shows, 50 theaters
    MIAMI, Fla. (AP) - This cruise line rivals Broadway with 134 shows, 50 theaters

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

“90 for 90” campaign to celebrate 90 years of Golf Legend Arnold Palmer

ORLANDO, Fla. – In honor of what would have been Arnold Palmer’s 90th birthday this…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Florida Republican Party Chairman, State Senator Joe Gruters to Keynote Orlando Republican Women Federated June Event

APOPKA, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - As the 2020 election season builds momentum, the Florida Republican…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Flagler County Republican Club Launches 2020 Election Season with Sweet Contest

PALM COAST, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The Flagler County Republican Club's (FCRC) annual Blue Ribbon…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

[PHOTOS] 2019 Cannes Film Festival: ‘Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood’ Stars Electrify the Red Carpet

CANNES, France (FNN NEWS) - Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood premiered…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

[PHOTOS] 2019 Cannes Film Festival: Model Winnie Harlow Wows on the Red Carpet

CANNES, France (FNN NEWS) - Game-changing model Winnie Harlow, who rocked the world several years ago…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

[PHOTOS] The Most Stunning Celebrity Looks from 2019 Cannes Film Festival’s Opening Night

CANNES, France (FNN NEWS) – Stunning celebrity fashion filled the red carpet on Opening Night…