Fernando takes victory for Wayne Taylor Racing
Fernando Alonso, driving former South African champion Wayne Taylor's Cadillac with Kamui Kobayashi, Taylor’s son Jordan and Renger van der Zande, won a Daytona 24 Hours cut short by foul weather on Sunday. Ever worsening conditions saw the race red-flagged for a second time with just under two hours to run with Alonso leading at the time before the race was finally abandoned as efforts to clear standing water from the track proved fruitless.
Alonso had passed Felipe Nasr’s Action Express Cadillac shared with Pipo Derani and Eric Curran for the lead shortly before the red flag flew to claim a decisive victory, with Helio Castroneves, the second Taylor son Ricky and Alexander Rossi third for Penske-Acura. Sunday’s red flag came after an hour-long caution period, which itself followed racing continually punctuated by frequent cautions for several incidents in the treacherous conditions.
Jon Bennett, Romain Dumas, Loic Duval and Colin Braun ended four laps down in fourth in a CORE Nissan, with Rubens Barrichello, Misha Goikhberg, Tristan Vautier and Devlin De Francesco’s JDC-Miller Cadillac fifth from Roberto Gonzalez, Pastor Maldonado, Sebastian Saavedra and Ryan Cullen’s LMP2 winning DragonSpeed ORECA-Gibson.
Connor De Phillippi, Philipp Eng, Colton Herta and Augusto Farfus took a closely contested GT Le Mans race in their BMW M8 GTE following a last-gasp pass on second placed James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi, Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon’s Risi Ferrari 488 GTE, with Earl Bamber, Mathieu Jaminet and Laurens Vanthoor’s Porsche 911 third, while Rolf Ineichen, Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart and Rik Breukers' Lamborghini Huracan GT3 took the GT Daytona win.
Of South African interest, Kelvin van der Linde’s Audi ended fourth in GTD and 20th overall, while Stephen Simpson’s Cadillac retired.