BROWNSBURG, Ind. – Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso is returning to compete in the Rolex 24 with Wayne Taylor Racing.
Alonso will co-drive the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R fielded by Wayne Taylor Racing on Jan. 26-27 at Daytona Int’l Speedway alongside full-time co-drivers Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande, as well as former Formula One driver and World Endurance Championship regular Kamui Kobayashi.
It will be the second consecutive Rolex 24 appearance for the 37-year-old Alonso, who recently completed his final season of Formula One competition with McLaren.
“First, I have to thank Konica Minolta for yet again supporting WTR, and that I am extremely excited to have added Fernando Alonso and Kamui Kobayashi as teammates for Jordan and Renger at Daytona,” said team owner Wayne Taylor. “Both Fernando and Kamui are the cream of the crop of world-class driving talent, not only in F1 but as current sportscar drivers. It’s taken a long time to put this all together and I’d like to thank everybody who made it all happen. Fernando drove at Daytona last year, and it’ll be the first time at the 24-hour for Kamui, who is a superstar driver who will figure it out quickly. We have plans to integrate both drivers into our program very efficiently and successfully. I’m absolutely ecstatic that we have been able to make this happen, and I can’t wait to get to Daytona.”
Alonso’s first Rolex 24 appearance took place this in January of this year with the United Autosport LMP2-car effort, which resulted in a 13th-place finish due to mechanical issues. The Spanish driver has enjoyed recent success in the World Endurance Championship. His No. 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing team leads the WEC 2018-19 superseason standings after back-to-back victories at Spa-Francorchamps and his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut, followed by consecutive runner-up finishes at Fuji and Shanghai earlier this month.
“I am very happy about joining the Konica Minolta Cadillac team and Wayne Taylor Racing to race together at the Rolex 24 At Daytona,” said Alonso, who also competed in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 for Andretti Autosport and is slated to compete in the event again in 2019 with McLaren. “This is undoubtedly one of the greatest races in American and world motorsport. Returning to the United States is always special. The atmosphere created by the fans is unique throughout an incredible weekend. I really hope to fight for the win, as well as having fun and putting a smile on the fans’ faces. I made my debut last year both in endurance races and with these sportscar prototypes, as well as on this track. I was left wanting much more after a brake issue ended our hopes of stepping on the podium. After an intense year in which I’ve competed in both Formula One and the WEC, I’m really looking forward to 2019 and attempting to conquer one of the most important races in the world. I’m brimming with hunger and desire and I can’t wait for the first race of next season and going out on track to battle with my Konica Minolta Cadillac teammates.”
Kobayashi, the 32-year-old from Japan, is in his third season with Toyota Gazoo Racing and currently co-drives the team’s No. 7 entry, which is second in the superseason standings after runner-up finishes at this season’s rounds at Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans, followed by victories at Fuji Speedway and Shanghai Int’l Circuit.
“First of all, I would like to thank the Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team and Wayne Taylor for giving me this wonderful opportunity to race at the historic Daytona 24-hour,” Kobayashi said. “It is one of the most popular endurance races and I am so excited to have my Daytona debut with the 2017-winning team. This will also be my first race in the U.S. and I’m really looking forward to having a good race with the Konica Minolta Cadillac team.”