Nasr regrets 'fantastic' Alonso Daytona 24 Hours battle ended early

Felipe Nasr regrets the fact that his "fantastic" battle for the lead in last weekend's Daytona 24 Hours with fellow ex-Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso was cut short by red flags

Nasr regrets 'fantastic' Alonso Daytona 24 Hours battle ended early

Action Express Racing Cadillac driver Nasr was leading the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac of Alonso heading into the final stages of the IMSA SportsCar Championship season-opener before it was stopped with just under two hours to go as a result of heavy rain.

Prior to the early finish, Nasr aquaplaned and ran wide into Turn 1 and had no time to battle Alonso in pursuit of retaking the lead.

That ensured victory went to Alonso and team-mates Renger van der Zande, Jordan Taylor and Kamui Kobayashi, while Nasr, Pipo Derani and Eric Curran took second.

"It was fantastic to share those moments with Fernando," Nasr told Autosport.

"He's a great driver, we all know that, and in any car that you put him in he's going to show his best.

"Fernando and I, I think we were the strongest guys out there in those conditions, and I really wish we could have raced for the remainder of the time [after the race was stopped].

"I'm sure it would have been great for the spectators at home, to see real racing, to see cars fighting. Unfortunately we didn't restart and we had to settle for second.

"All I wanted was to go back racing. But I do understand there was a point it got too wet.

"Even 15, 20 minutes before they red-flagged the race I think cars were spinning on the straights. It got really crazy out there."

Reflecting on the Turn 1 mistake, Nasr added: "There was nothing I could do; I was the first car coming into Turn 1, and that was the moment the rain really poured down.

"I was just hoping they would restart the race, because the car was good enough to fight for victory.

"It was a real shame it ended this way."

Despite pre-race fears that the Cadillacs lacked the pace to fight the Acuras and Mazdas, the #31 AXR machine and the winning #10 WTR car ended up leading a combined 356 laps of the 593 that took place.

Nasr insists he went into the race confident of having the pace to challenge for victory based on his experience of the 'Roar' test at Daytona earlier in the month.

"It was like we expected, because even from testing in the beginning of January we were aware Acura and Mazda had better one-lap pace than us, which they confirmed in the race weekend," said Nasr.

"But you have to adjust your car into a race set-up that is able to be consistent and driveable in any conditions.

"We were pretty confident we had a good package going into the race, and we confirmed that.

"As soon as the race started, I felt like we had the upper hand over the longer stints."

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