Fernando Alonso and Kamui Kobayashi join WTR for Daytona 24
Newly-retired Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso will partner up with ex-F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi for the upcoming Rolex 24 At Daytona, alongside full-time co-drivers Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R.
It will be the Spaniard's second appearance at the 24 hour event, having raced with United Autosport in 2018. His second attempt comes with the Wayne Taylor Racing outfit.
Kobayashi, who like Alonso competes in the World Endurance Championship with Toyota, although in the sister car, will make his Daytona debut.
"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 team-mates 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 previous attempt saw him finish 13th after hitting mechanical issues and is looking forward to racing in the US again.
"I am very happy about joining the Konica Minolta Cadillac team and Wayne Taylor Racing to race together at the Rolex 24 At Daytona," added Alonso.
"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 team-mates."
Alonso will also race at the 2019 Indianapolis 500 and see out the WEC Superseason.
Kobayashi added: "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."
The 57th Rolex 24 will be preceded by the annual three days of Roar Before the 24 testing January 4-6.