Toyota Gazoo Racing team mate’s Fernando Alonso and Kamui Kobayshi will compete in the 2019 Rolex 24 Hours in Daytona in January 2019. The pair will join Wayne Taylor Racing for the event driving the Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R alongside regular WhetherTech IMSA championship drivers Jordan Taylor and Renger Van Der Zande for the event which takes place from January 26/27.
Team owner Wayne Taylor commented on the news saying:
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 teammates for Jordan and Renger at Daytona. “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.
Fernando Alonso, fresh from testing Jimmie Johnson’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car at the Bahrain International Circuit on Monday after competing in his final Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday with McLaren will be compete in his second Daytona 24 Hours having competed with United Autosports last year.
Speaking about next years race, Alonso who will compete in the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 with McLaren next year commented by saying:
I am very happy about joining the Konica Minolta Cadillac team and Wayne Taylor Racing to race together at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. “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 teammates.
Alonso’s Toyota team mate Kamui Kobayashi commented saying:
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. “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.
Fernando Alonso and Kamui Kobayashi’s new team mate Jordan Taylor commented saying:
It is super exciting to have Fernando and Kamui joining us for Daytona. “I think we are bringing in two of the top drivers not just in sportscars but in the world of motorsport. Fernando is one of the most-respected and highly rated drivers of our time, and Kamui has been one of the top sportscar drivers over the past few years and the current lap-record holder at Le Mans. It is going to be great to have them join us. They have had such long, successful careers, and I’m sure there will be a lot we can learn from having them with us. We had a very strong second half to our 2018 season and finished it off with the win at the Petit Le Mans, so I can’t wait to get back to the track in Daytona and start our 2019 championship on the right foot. Daytona is a unique event but one that our team has excelled at. It’s my favorite month of the year.
Renger Van Der Zande commented on the arrival of Fernando Alonso and Kamui Kobayshi’s arrival at the team for the Rolex 24 Hours by saying:
Fernando Alonso is a living legend and Kamui is a great driver and we are fortunate to be able to attract the best talent in the world to our program. “It shows the level of this program and it solidifies the fact I’m in the right place, which I knew already. Looking back at last year, I think we had the package to win the championship, but two DNFs prevented that. I think we’re in a very strong position to start the new season at Daytona and there will be a lot of buzz around us. At the same time, we can learn from Fernando and Kamui. They’ve been with so many different teams, so many different cars, so many different people, and to be sharing all of that with us and integrate it into our program, that is only a benefit and, to that end, I’m very excited about it. The main goal is to win the race. That’s their goal, that’s our goal, so we’ll do everything we can together to make that happen