Alonso becomes 3rd Formula 1 champ to win Rolex 24 at Daytona

Fernando Alonso is the star as his team wins rain-shortened race at Daytona

Fernando Alonso is the star as his team wins rain-shortened race at Daytona

For the first time in history, the race was red flagged twice due to wet conditions, first for an hour, 45 minutes on Sunday morning and a second and final time at 12:39 p.m.

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.

Alonso was sitting under a blanket on the Taylor pit stand when the race was called.

"I'm very, very proud of the job that we achieved, but it was not a one-day job, it was a one-month job", Alonso said.

"Right now full focus is on the Indy 500", he said.

"Speaking to NBCSN after the race, Alonso said: "[It was] just an awesome experience with this team, from the test and now the race - a ideal execution of the race.

The Spaniard, who made his debut in the Daytona race a year ago and finished 38th, became just the third F1 champion to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona after Phil Hill and Mario Andretti.

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Jordan Taylor, Kamui Kobayashi and Renger van der Zande and Alonso steered the number 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac to victory, in a race that was anything but straightforward. His father, team owner Wayne Taylor, won it in 1996 and 2005.

Despite officials' best efforts to resume racing, the cars didn't return to the track and the No.10 Cadillac triumphed. We're here to show that we're capable of winning races.

"But I need to think, I need to plan, I need to make sure that I'm competitive". Conditions were changing all the time. We stayed out of trouble, no vehicle damage, no one went off the track. 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. "Daytona is one of those venues and speedways that you would like to win eventually one day in your career".

Alonso powered past three-time Indianapolis 500 victor Helio Castroneves to put his Cadillac DPi into the early lead in the twice-round-the-clock endurance race at Daytona International Speedway.

Alonso continued for a short time after the race resumed at the 18-hour, 31-minute mark, leading several more laps before handing the auto back to Taylor just short of the 19-hour mark.

"I went to talk to him because he almost crashed", Alonso said. To put it on pole, I think it represents what we're here to do.

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