The #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac of Fernando Alonso, Jordan Taylor, Renger van der Zande and Kamui Kobayashi was declared the winner of the drastically shortened 2019 edition of the Rolex 24.

Alonso now has both of sportscar racing’s blue-riband events – Le Mans and Daytona – on his CV, becoming also the third F1 world champion to win the Daytona 24 Hours after Phil Hill and Mario Andretti.

It wasn’t the finish teams, drivers and fans were hoping for however as the classic endurance event was interrupted by stop-start action as it entered its final four hours, and red-flagged outright with two hours to go as the elements on Florida wreaked havoc on the proceedings.

The first half of the race were run under normal conditions and saw a straightforward and thrilling battle between the WTR and Action Express Racing Cadillacs and the Penske Acuras.

    “This Alonso guy seems alright…”

The highlight of Saturday and early Sunday’s action was without doubt the successive stints produced by Fernando Alonso, the second of which saw the Spaniard deliver what many viewed as perhaps one of the finest drivers of his career as he hammered home his superiority.

Despite the rain setting in, the four-way battle at the front sustained its intensity over the night and into the dawn, although the sun was obviously nowhere to be seen as conditions worsened.

The four-car chase lost one of its protagonists around the 20-hour mark when the #6 Acura of Simon Pagenaud dropped out of contention with a broken oil pump.

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With cars spinning left and right, the race was rhythmed by its full course yellow flags, but Alonso, who had taken over from a brave and flawless Jordan Taylor, Action Express Racing’s Felipe Nasr’s and Penske Acura’s Alex Rossi kept themselves out of trouble.

The last caution, signaled just before the 22-hour mark, became a red flag with 1k55m left on the clock.

The field patiently waited – and hoped – for the rain to subside, but cars remained stranded on the pitlane, a state of affairs that the majority of the drivers – even those vying for a race win – believed was fully warranted.

Ultimately, the weather had the final say. But who were Fernando Alonso and the Wayne Taylor Racing crew to complain!

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