Wayne Taylor Racing has claimed victory in a rain-shortened Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The No. 10 Cadillac DPi.V-R of Fernando Alonso, Kamui Kobayashi, Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande have been declared winners in the WeatherTech SportCar Championship season-opener following a second red flag period that did not resume.
Starring in his DPi debut, Alonso retook the lead with 2 hours and 6 minutes to go when the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi of Felipe Nasr went deep into a flooded Turn 1.
It came after a fierce battle between the two ex-Formula 1 drivers in treacherous conditions that saw numerous spins, accidents and close calls.
An accident for the LMP2 class-leading No. 18 DragonSpeed Oreca 07 Gibson of Sebastian Saavedra just moments later led to the race’s 17th full course caution and subsequent red flag with 1 hour and 57 minutes to go.
IMSA made the decision to call the race with 11 minutes to go.
The win marked WTR’s second Rolex 24 victory in the last three years and Cadillac’s third consecutive in the Florida endurance classic and a clean sweep in the DPi era.
Toyota LMP1 factory drivers Alonso and Kobayashi, along with Dutchman van der Zande, meanwhile, picked up their maiden Daytona wins.
The No. 31 Action Express Racing-run Cadillac DPi of Nasr and co-drivers Pipo Derani and Eric Curran finished second, despite Nasr’s eventual race-deciding incident.
Acura Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor and Alexander Rossi was third, ahead of the No. 54 CORE autosport Nissan DPi, which fought back from a sensor issue in the 11th hour and late-race accident to come home fourth, albeit it four laps down.
The No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi completed the top five, despite a number of spins in the wet.
A dislodged alternator belt for the No. 6 Team Penske Acura DPi in the 19th hour dropped it nearly 20 laps down after leading early on, although managed to finish sixth in class and eighth overall.
Mustang Sampling Racing’s quest for back-to-back Rolex 24 wins was dashed in the opening hour when electrical issues hit its No. 5 Cadillac DPi, which resulted in multiple trips to the garage.
Filipe Albuquerque, Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, in his final race, rallied to a ninth place overall finish despite an accident by Albuquerque in the 16th hour.
Both of the Team Joest-run Mazda RT24-Ps retired, with the pole-sitting No. 77 entry of Timo Bernhard suffering engine failure in the seventh hour, moments after the No. 55 car stopped on track with electrical gremlins.
An Hour 14 accident by Olivier Pla, who was hit from behind by the No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Oliver Gavin after the Mazda DPi shut-off again while on track, ended the Multimatic-led team’s day.
DragonSpeed Wins LMP2 Despite Crash
The No. 18 DragonSpeed Oreca of Saavedra, Pastor Maldonado, Roberto Gonzalez and Ryan Cullen picked up LMP2 class honors, despite the Colombian’s accident that indirectly led to the race-ending red.
It came when the car had a four-lap lead over the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca of Cameron Cassels.
The Elton Julian-led DragonSpeed squad appeared set for a 1-2 class finish the team’s pole-sitting No. 81 machine stopped on track with less than three hours to go.
An accident by Mark Kvamme eliminated the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca from the race early on.