Alonso, Kobayashi join Taylor Cadillac at Rolex 24

November 27, 2018

Alonso, Kobayashi join Taylor Cadillac at Rolex 24

November 27, 2018

Fernando Alonso and Kamui Kobayashi join the Konica Minolta No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R lineup for the 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Alonso and Kobayashi race with Toyota Gazoo Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Alonso will have his second crack at Daytona next January. He raced this year with United Autosports in an LMP2-spec Ligier JS P217, but this will mark his first race in a DPi-spec car. This will mark Kobayashi’s Daytona debut.

Alonso in 2018, with United Autosports.

They join team regulars Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande for the Wayne Taylor Racing outfit. That pairing, plus Ryan Hunter-Reay, won IMSA’s 2018 season finale at Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

“Both Fernando and Kamui are the cream of the crop of world-class driving talent, not only in F1 but as current sports car drivers,” Wayne Taylor said.

“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.”

Taylor is one of the overall winners of the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Meanwhile Alonso co-drove to win this year’s Le Mans with Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.

Alonso will race in numerous series in 2019, as he’s ended his Formula 1 full-time career for now. He’ll start at Daytona. In March, he’ll continue racing with Michelin and resume his FIA WEC commitments with Toyota at Sebring. He’s also slated to race the Indianapolis 500 for a second time with McLaren.

“I really hope to fight for the win, as well as having fun and putting a smile on the fans’ faces,” Alonso said. “I made my debut last year both in endurance races and with these sports car prototypes, as well as on this track. But I was left wanting much more after a brake issue ended our hopes of stepping on the podium.”

Kobayashi has been a regular winner with Toyota in FIA WEC competition. Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing

Kobayashi has shared the winning Toyota with Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez at the last two FIA WEC races. Those were held in Fuji and Shanghai.

“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. 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 2019 Rolex 24 runs from Jan. 26-27.

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