Wayne Taylor Racing wins shortened 2019 Daytona 24 Hours
The #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac of Fernando Alonso, Renger van der Zande, Kamui Kobayashi and Jordan Taylor has won the 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona after the race was stopped prematurely due to the extreme weather conditions at Daytona International Speedway.
The red flag, the second of the day, was brought out with one hour and 55 minutes to go. Race control deemed it unwise to resume the race under current conditions in the time remaining.
The last hours of the race were nothing short of hectic as cars spun off on almost every lap. The spray and wet conditions also triggered multiple collisions. After one of the restarts, Zacharie Robinchon, unsighted, smashed the #9 PFAFF Motorsports Porsche into the back of Taylor Proto's Ebimotors Lamborghini Huracan GT3. On a different restart, Toni Vilander in the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari made heavy contact with the #570 Black Swan Racing Porsche, as the Fin was also unsighted into the braking zone at the bus stop chicane. A separate pileup at turn 1 saw the #911 Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy, #66 Ford GT of Sebastién Bourdais, #11 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Mirko Bortolotti and #54 Nissan DPi of Romain Dumas come together in the runoff zone at high speed.
Alonso, behind the wheel of the #10, took the lead from Felipe Nasr mere minutes before the red flag came out. The Spaniard was involved in an intense fight with the Action Express machine as the standing water sent cars flying off track left, right and centre but eventually got past after a turn 1 error by Nasr. The #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac of Eric Cullen, Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani has therefore come in third ahead of the #7 Team Penske Acura of Alexander Rossi, Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves.
The win in LMP2 has gone to the #18 DragonSpeed ORECA at the hands of Pastor Maldonado, Roberto Gonzalez, Sebastian Saavedra and Ryan Cullen ahead of the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA of Kyle Masson, Robert Masson, Cameron Cassels and Kris Wright. The win for the #18 might come as a bit of surprise, as it was several laps down on the sister car and severely damaged the nose moments before the red flag was dropped. The #81 Dragonspeed ORECA, a long time leader in LMP2, suffered an issue an hour before the red flag and classified third in class.
The #25 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE of Augusto Farfus, Connor de Philippi, Philipp Eng and Colton Herta was leading GTLM when the red flag was dropped and has therefore been declared winner in GTLM ahead of the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari and the #67 Ford GT of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon. There was some controversy as the #67 was leading as the original yellow flag came out and went for an emergency service pit stop, which dropped the Castrol-liveried Ford to third right as the red flag come out for the second time.
The #11 GRT Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo has managed to repeat last year's success, as the team of Rik Breukers, Christian Engelhart, Mirko Bortolotti and Rolf Ineichen has been classified first in GT Daytona ahead of the Team Montaplast by Land Audi of Daniel Morad, Christopher Mies, Dries Vanthoor and Ricky Feller. The #12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 of Frankie Montecalvo, Townsend Bell, Jeff Segal and Aaron Telitz completes the GTD podium.