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Sports Shorts: Alonso wins rain-hit 24 Hours of Daytona

January 28, 2019 14:29 IST

Summary of sports events and persons who made news on Monday

Fernando Alonso

IMAGE: Fernando Alonso. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso won the rain-shortened 24 Hours of Daytona, overhauling Felipe Nasr two laps from the eventual finish on Sunday.

The Spaniard became only the third Formula One champion to win the race, joining Phil Hill (1964) and Mario Andretti (1972).

 

"It’s amazing,” Alonso told NBCSN. "Just an amazing experience with this team, from the test and now the race –- a perfect execution of the race.

"Very different conditions and we’ve been competitive in everything –- dry, wet, night and day. Really happy for the team and all the guys."

Alonso, who retired from Formula One racing after the 2018 season, said the victory would rank very high among all his accomplishments.

"To win this kind of endurance racing at iconic places like Daytona means a lot," he said. "With zero experience and background in endurance before (last year) it’s quite a big thing."

Already the winner of last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 37-year-old Alonso will attempt to complete the Triple Crown of motorsports by capturing the Indy 500 in May.

Driving the Wayne Taylor Cadillac DPI, Alonso took command of the race for keeps when Brazilian Nasr failed to navigate turn one and drove into deep water, losing a 1.5-second advantage. By the time Nasr had things under control, Alonso was 12 seconds ahead.

Kamui Kobayashi, Jordan Taylor and Renger vanDer Zande teamed up with Alonso for the victory in his second try in the 24-hour race which was twice red-flagged because of rain and water on the track and was halted 10 minutes early.

"With all the rain, I’ve never seen a race like this,” Team Penske boss Roger Penske told NBCSN.

Alexander Rossi was the only other driver to finish in the lead lap. He took third.

Italian Alex Zanardi’s return to endurance racing 17 years after he lost both legs in a horrific race wreck got off to a bad start 90 minutes into the race,

At the beginning of his first stint driving, Zanardi encountered a problem with his steering wheel.

The 52-year-old was using a special wheel with hand controls for the car, and the connecting pins were damaged when he attempted to connect it as the car was dropped from the jack.

His No. 24 BMW Team RLL team finished 32nd overall and ninth in class.

2nd International: India women hold Spain to 1-1 draw

Indian women earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw against  Spain in the second international hockey match after having lost the opening encounter by a close margin.

Gurjit Kaur's 43rd minute strike was nullified by home team's Maria Tost in the 49th minute during an encounter on Sunday evening.

Having lost 2-3 to Spain in their opening match on Saturday, the Indian team put up a spirited performance in a high-voltage second encounter here. 

While the first quarter ended in a stalemate, the second quarter saw India make a breakthrough with their first PC of the match. The PC was re-taken but well-saved by the Spanish goalkeeper. 

It was goalless at half-time but Spain created a penalty corner opportunity soon into the third quarter. The Indian goalkeeper made an impressive save to deny the hosts. In the following minutes, India increased their tempo that resulted in yet another short corner, which was brilliantly struck by drag flicker Gurjit Kaur.

The joy of 1-0 lead against the 2018 Women's World Cup Bronze Medal winners was short lived as a defensive lapse by India gave way to Spain scoring a beautiful field goal through Tost in the 49th minute which levelled the scores 1-1. 

The final quarter remained intense until the hooter with both teams taking their game a notch above and pushing for a winning goal but neither succeeded with the match ending in a draw.  

India will play their third match of the tour on Tuesday.

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