Wayne Taylor Racing beats Staff Penske for pole at Rolex

Pat Wise
January 28, 2018

Speaking ahead of qualifying at Daytona on Thursday, Alonso confirmed that while plans are continuing to be formulated, nothing is completely set yet.

That is so true this weekend for United Autosports. So it seemed a little unusual when he didn't qualify Team Penske's new Acura entry. Despite the qualifying position, Alonso knows he and co-drivers Lando Norris and Phil Hanson have plenty of time to make it up.

The #31 auto had been battling for eighth less than two hours earlier, but a solid drive from Conway allowed him to pick his way up through the order. "Somebody asked me if Renger is going to be faster, and I said, 'All I have to do is ask Jordan what he thinks.' And he (Jordan) said, 'He's quick.' And he was right". I thought it was a good lap.

"I think it was a good session for us", Alonso said.

Brown juggles running United Autosport, the team he owns, with his job running one of the most storied teams in F1.

NASCAR drivers spent the first half of the week speaking with the media about the 2018 season.

In recent years, qualifying for the Rolex 24 has taken on added importance due to increasingly tight competition that has produced surprisingly close finishes in this twice-around-the-clock event.

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Karim Benzema , Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo last lined up in the same starting XI in April's Clasico meeting with Barcelona. The home side eventually reduced the deficit in the 59th minute, as Santi Mina headed home following a cross from Dani Parejo .

Fernando Alonso finished his first stint in a major sports vehicle race wondering how his United Autosports team can overcome a speed deficiency. It's not clear yet if he'll bring the same attention to the Rolex that he did last May to Indianapolis, where he was in contention for the victory until his engine failed with 21 laps remaining. The teams are lagging behind the Cadillacs in the prototype class, and the first few hours of the Rolex went about as expected.

"It's a nice vehicle to drive", said Ryan Hunter-Reay, who returned to prototype competition this year with the Taylor team after driving an Acura in the GT Daytona class last season.

Whelen Engineering Racing's Mike Conway leads the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona at the six hour mark after an impressive performance in the wet. "Fernando wants to get the experience". "It just goes to show how special this race is".

In the meantime, he was impressed with the performance of two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso. I will tell you the following morning.

"We'll see if we can keep the lead lap as long as possible", Alonso said.

All told, an incumbent team knocked off a newcomer for pole in Prototype, Corvette and Ford dueled for the pole in GTLM - with Corvette getting the upper hand - and a former class victor at the 24 Hours of Le Mans rose to the occasion to take pole in GT Daytona.

With the action on track starting to calm down after a manic first hour of action, both Mazda Joest Racing DPi cars were plagued with problems that left them multiple laps down. "We are not as competitive as we'd like, but nevertheless we will try to execute the race perfectly and if that happens, we can achieve a good result".

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