When the race was red flagged, Alonso was on track and leading ahead of fellow former F1 driver Felipe Nasr in the No.31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac.
Fernando Alonso added the epic United States endurance event to a list of career achievements that includes 32 F1 race wins and world titles in 2005 and 2006.
Alonso powered past three-time Indianapolis 500 victor Helio Castroneves to put his Cadillac DPi into the early lead in the twice-round-the-clock endurance race at Daytona International Speedway. The team this year brought in Alonso and Kamui Kobayashi, teammates at Le Mans, to join full-time drivers Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande. But once Alonso got behind the wheel for his first race stint just shy of the two-hour mark, the sleek, black racecar found itself in and out of the lead for the remainder of the event.
Fernando Alonso says "the aim is to do something unprecedented in motorsport" after adding victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona to his list of achievements on Sunday.
"I've never seen a race like this", said octogenarian race team owner Roger Penske, whose Acura vehicle sat in third, with Indianapolis 500 winners Helio Castroneves and Alexander Rossi and Taylor's son Ricky behind the wheel.
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"I had a great battle with Fernando, it was very comfortable, he gave me room", Castroneves said.
The Spaniard now has won the Rolex, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Monaco Grand Prix. Speaking after his Daytona win Alonso said he is already beginning to think about tackling other events.
"I'm very, very proud of the job that we achieved, but it was not a one-day job, it was a one-month job", Alonso said. Those events are typically around two hours, and Alonso eclipsed that in his first stint in the auto. We tried to have a quick integration, Kamui and myself, trying to learn as much as we could from the team in the Roar (Before the 24 test days) and then, on the race itself, it was very, very hard. After a one-hour, 45-minute stoppage, racing resumed. We're here to show that we're capable of winning races.
Alonso has set himself the target of winning the motor racing "Triple Crown", which he will do if he wins the Indianapolis 500 in May.
The field patiently waited - and hoped - for the rain to subside, but cars remained stranded on the pitlane, a state of affairs that the majority of the drivers - even those vying for a race win - believed was fully warranted.