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Alonso adds Daytona 24 return to 2019 racing schedule

Written by  Nov 29, 2018

Fernando Alonso will be returning to the site of his first endurance race next January after confirming a place at the Daytona 24 Hours.

The Spaniard, who called time on his Formula 1 career this past weekend in Abu Dhabi, made his sportscar debut at this year's event with an entry for United Autosports, owned by McLaren CEO Zak Brown.

Ultimately, it would be a disappointing 38th place out of 50 by the end but it proved vital experience ahead of what has been a successful WEC rookie year with Toyota including a win at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

In 2019 though, Alonso will be teaming up with WEC teammate Kamui Kobayashi, Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande in the No.10 Konica Minolta Cadillac giving the double F1 champion a much better chance of victory at the Daytona International Speedway.

"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.

"This is undoubtedly one of the greatest races in American and world motorsport and 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 F1 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."

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It is another piece in the puzzle for the 37-year-old's life after F1 with the second part of WEC's 'super-season' to come and, most importantly, a second tilt at trying to complete motorsport's triple crown.

"The full priority is the Indy 500," Alonso said after completing a NASCAR swap event with Jimmie Johnson in Bahrain on Monday.

 

For that race at the 'Brickyard', McLaren's entry is expected to be powered by Chevrolet, a GM brand like Cadillac, following the problems with Honda at Indianapolis in 2017.

"So we need to accommodate a few things. It is not that I want to go by my own in all the decisions. I want to have the support from everyone," Fernando added.

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