FERNANDO (EL MACHISMO) ALONSO WINS THE DAYTON 24 HOURS!
The Cadillac DPi-V.R teams have won the last three 24 Hours of Daytona races in a row as Fernando Alonso took the black and blue Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing car across the finish line for the final time some two hours before the race actually ended. With safety top of mind, the stewards finally threw the red flag for the second time and let that stoppage continue on to the end of the race.
The #10 Cadillac of Alonso, Jordan Taylor, Renger van der Zande, and Kamui Kobayashi may have been in the lucky position of number one as the red flag fell, but it was a true credit to all four of them that the car had managed to stay in the hunt for the 20-ish hours of actual racing that occurred. The mega battles that, in particular Alonso had against Acura’s Helio Castroneves, and Kobayashi had with seemingly everyone.
The competition in the DPi category was stiff, but Cadillac had the measure of the field again. The Mazdas, though fast, were too fragile to make it to the finish. The lone Nissan simply couldn’t keep it on the island. The two Acuras were in the fight all race long, but couldn’t quite match the Caddys on fuel economy.
This is Jordan Taylor’s second victory in his father’s team, having previously won in 2017. Van der Zande, Kobayashi, and Alonso netted their collective first Daytona 24 victory. Alonso has now won the Monaco Grand Prix, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the 24 Hours of Daytona. He’s heading to Indianapolis this May for another run at the Indy 500.
The #18 Oreca of Dragonspeed drivers Pastor Maldonado, Roberto Gonzalez, Ryan Cullen, and Sebastian Saavedra teamed for victory in the four-car LMP2 class. It was pretty obvious that Dragonspeed would take the win, as they stretched out a double-digit lap lead over the other two LMP2 teams by mid-race.
From there, it was just a matter of which Dragonspeed car would make it to the end. The #81 was leading, but crashed and lost many laps. The #18 also crashed a number of times, but never bad enough to sideline the car long. The team won the race with a 4 lap lead.