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Alonso Takes Lead with Inspired Evening Charge

Stellar stint from Fernando Alonso promotes WTR Cadillac to the lead at Daytona…

Photo: MPS Agency

A rapid evening stint from Fernando Alonso launched the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R into the lead of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Alonso took over the No. 10 Konica Minolta prototype from Jordan Taylor in the second hour and went on to work his way through the DPi front-runners.

The two-time Formula 1 world champion charged through to the lead at the start of the fourth hour, after a restart from the second full course caution of the race.

Alonso picked off the Cadillac DPi of Eric Curran and the Acura ARX-05 DPi of Dane Cameron to move into the top three, before out-braking Cameron’s Penske teammate Helio Castroneves into the Bus Stop chicane.

Rene Rast had built up a firm lead in the No. 77 Team Joest Mazda RT24-P DPi but couldn’t hold Alonso back as the Spaniard dived past into turn one, completing a 14-minute rise from fifth to first.

Alonso then had his lead neutralized by a third full-course caution but he was able to restore his lead when the race returned to green, before handing over to fellow Toyota LMP1 driver Kamui Kobayashi after almost three hours behind the wheel.

Kobayashi inherited a 15-second lead over Tristan Nunez, who took over the No. 77 Mazda from Rast, with Simon Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi close behind in the Acura DPis.

The 2018-winning No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac returned to action midway through the fourth hour after spending 25 minutes in its garage with an electrical issue.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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