Fernando Alonso takes maiden rally-raid podium ahead of Dakar 2020

Double Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso achieved his first podium finish in cross-country rallying in the third of his Dakar Rally preparatory outings with Toyota

Fernando Alonso takes maiden rally-raid podium ahead of Dakar 2020

Double Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso achieved his first podium finish in cross-country rallying in the third of his Dakar Rally preparatory outings with Toyota.

Alonso and co-driver Marc Coma contested this week's Al Ula-Neom Cross-Country Rally in Saudi Arabia, where the Dakar is being held for the first time in 2020.

They were fourth on the opening stage, having taken a cautious approach, then suffered a puncture on the second day and lost time.

But they recovered to third place overall by the end of the event, despite some navigation difficulties on Saturday's final stage.

Alonso finished 16 minutes behind the winner, World Rally and Dakar regular Yazeed Al Rajhi.

"The final stage was a difficult one, full of rocks and difficult navigation," said Alonso.

"But we had no real issues, and we finished third on the stage and third overall, which is quite a good result for us."

Team principal Glyn Hall pointed out that the strategy for the event was influenced by the fact Alonso was giving the chassis he will use for the Dakar itself its debut.

"Fernando and Marc showed great pace this week, and I'm happy that they are progressing according to our plan," he said.

"We had a strategy for this race, and it worked out perfectly for them.

"They raced a brand-new car here, which is earmarked for the Dakar Rally, so they had to balance their pace with the need to preserve the car.

"In the end, they achieved a maiden podium against local crews who know the terrain very well, which bodes well for January's Dakar Rally.

"It was also interesting for us to experience Saudi Arabia first-hand and gain some insight for the big race in the New Year."

Alonso will now continue his Dakar build-up with further private testing.

shares
comments
Alonso will compete in 2020 Dakar Rally with Toyota
Previous article

Alonso will compete in 2020 Dakar Rally with Toyota

Next article

Why Alonso is already exceeding expectations in Dakar bid

Why Alonso is already exceeding expectations in Dakar bid
The positive future implications of Audi's creditable Dakar debut Plus

The positive future implications of Audi's creditable Dakar debut

OPINION: Audi has been a disruptive presence on the 2022 Dakar Rally, with its new hybrid RS Q e-tron taking three stage wins so far. Its impressive pace and resilience on one of the world’s toughest tests also bodes well for the Dakar’s future as it seeks to attract new manufacturers

Dakar
Jan 12, 2022
How Prodrive plans to use trial by Dakar to spur it to victory Plus

How Prodrive plans to use trial by Dakar to spur it to victory

Having tasted plenty of success in the World Rally Championship in the past, Prodrive took its off-road excursions to a new level with its first Dakar Rally entry this year. Now well-versed in the challenges that the famous rally-raid event possesses, Prodrive can learn from those lessons for next year's tilt at Dakar honours

Dakar
Jun 2, 2021
Why Loeb has joined forces with an old enemy for Dakar Plus

Why Loeb has joined forces with an old enemy for Dakar

The nine-time World Rally champion is heading to the Dakar Rally with an all-new project, and is joining up with the team he often fought against in the WRC - Prodrive - in his quest to finally add the most famed rally raid of them all to his bulging CV

Dakar
Dec 4, 2020
Richards on Prodrive's new Dakar challenge Plus

Richards on Prodrive's new Dakar challenge

With a stunning success record in motorsport, Prodrive is targeting a new crown by entering the 2021 Dakar Rally. David Richards provides an update on the programme, how COVID has slowed its plans and its options on who sits behind the wheel of its new car

Dakar
Jul 16, 2020
Why Alonso is already exceeding expectations in Dakar bid Plus

Why Alonso is already exceeding expectations in Dakar bid

How significant was Fernando Alonso's first cross-country rallying podium on a Saudi Arabian event last weekend? Very. The next leg of his post-F1 quest for versatile glory is going very well so far...

Dakar
Nov 12, 2019
What Alonso learned from his best Dakar test yet Plus

What Alonso learned from his best Dakar test yet

Double Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso took on one of his biggest challenges yet in the five-day Dakar warm-up event, Rally Morocco. Alonso gives his thoughts on his progress in a "bittersweet" event, and whether he will contest the Dakar

Dakar
Oct 10, 2019
Why Alonso must heed Loeb's Dakar failures Plus

Why Alonso must heed Loeb's Dakar failures

Fernando Alonso is edging closer to a Dakar debut, but he should take heed of the lessons rallying legend Sebastien Loeb has learned through several near-misses, despite his promising performances at the event

Dakar
Aug 22, 2019
Why Loeb cannot be allowed to give up on Dakar Plus

Why Loeb cannot be allowed to give up on Dakar

Sebastien Loeb has been the fastest man on the Dakar Rally since he first appeared on the legendary event, but he's still not won it after four dramatic attempts. That story cannot end here

Dakar
Jan 20, 2019