Saturday, April 20, 2019

Alonso, Kobayashi Join WTR for Daytona


Wayne Taylor Racing drivers Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande will share their Cadillac DPi-V.R with two globe-trotting stars during January’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso and Kamui Kobayashi, teammates at Toyota Gazoo Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s LMP1 division, will visit the Daytona International Speedway to help Taylor and van der Zande begin the 2019 season in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi.

Alonso debuted at Daytona this past January in an ill-fated Prototype entry from United Autosports. Following the recent Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Rolex 24 will be Alonso’s first race since leaving F1 after 17 seasons.

Kamui Kobayashi at 2018 Shanghai FIA WEC race
Kamui Kobayashi nearly made his F1 debut as a replacement driver at the 2009 running of his home Grand Prix in Japan but was blocked by the rules from doing so. | Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing

Thirty-two-year-old Japanese pilot Kobayashi drives the No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid in the WEC. He and co-drivers Mike Conway and José María Lopez finished second at Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans then won at Fuji Speedway and the Shanghai International Circuit. Previously, Kobayashi began a few seasons of F1 with his debut at the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix.

“I think we are bringing in two of the top drivers not just in sports cars but in the world of motor sport,” said Jordan Taylor.

“Fernando is one of the most respected and highly-rated drivers of our time and Kamui has been one of the top sports car drivers over the past few years and the current lap-record holder at Le Mans. … They have had such long, successful careers and I’m sure there will be a lot we can learn from having them with us.”

Public preparations for the 57th Rolex 24 will take place Jan. 4–6, 2019 at the Roar Before the Rolex 24.

Aaron Durant
Aaron Durant
As editor-in-chief, Aaron brings a developing design and editorial vision to The Apex every day and co-hosts The Braking Point podcast every week. An avid reader, Aaron enjoys aligning his relentless care for quality with an interest in counterintuitive approaches.

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