Dakar 2020, Stage 2: Terranova leads, big drama for Alonso

         X-raid Mini driver Orlando Terranova leads the 2020 Dakar Rally after the second stage, in which star debutant Fernando Alonso has already lost over two hours due to damage. Two-time Formula 1 champion Alonso was close to the frontrunners’ pace over the first 160 kilometres of the test, but his Toyota Hilux was then halted after an impact with a rock that left it with wheel and suspension damage.

Although Alonso and co-driver Marc Coma attempted repairs on the spot, they have now been resigned to waiting on the stage for Toyota Gazoo’s assistance truck – and while the crew should then be able to resume the marathon, any chances of a standout finish for Alonso on his Dakar debut have likely evaporated.

The Al Wajh – Neom stage, featuring 367 kilometres of timed competition, is the first of six in this year’s Dakar for which the roadbook is made available to crews minutes before the start, as opposed to the afternoon of the prior day.

Al-Rajhi’s bid for stage victory and the overall lead fell apart in the very end, however, as he ceded over 20 minutes to fellow Toyota driver Giniel de Villiers, who ended the day as the pace-setter.

However, de Villiers’ opening stage travails mean he is only sixth in the general classification after two days, and trails Terranova by 12 minutes.

The Argentine, in a four-wheel-drive Mini John Cooper Works Rally, was second fastest on the day, while Khalid Al Qassimi in a privateer Peugeot and Mathieu Serradori in a Century buggy made it four different cars in the top four in the stage rankings.

The marathon’s two most recent champions, Mini buggy driver Carlos Sainz and Toyota’s Nasser Al-Attiyah, both surrendered over 10 minutes on Monday but are in the top three in the overall classification, with Serradori a surprise fourth.

Vaidotas Zala, who claimed a shock maiden win in the opening stage, was 19 minutes off Terranova’s pace here and now sits fifth overall.

Dakar’s all-time most successful competitor Stephane Peterhansel had been third behind Zala and Sainz, but lost more time than either as he struggled with a steering issue on his Mini buggy.

Peterhansel, however, only trails Terranova by 13 minutes in the general classification as he sits in eighth place, close behind de Villiers and Al Qassimi.


General classification (top 10):

Pos.#Driver / Co-driverCarTimeGap
1311Argentina Orlando Terranova

Argentina Bernardo Graue

2305Spain Carlos Sainz

Spain Lucas Cruz

3300Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah

France Mathieu Baumel

4315France Mathieu Serradori

Belgium Fabian Lurquin

5319Lithuania Vaidotas Zala

Lithuania Saulius Jurgelenas

6304South Africa Giniel de Villiers

Spain Alex Haro

7308United Arab Emirates Khalid Al Qassimi

France Xavier Panseri

8302France Stephane Peterhansel
Portugal Paulo Fiuza
9309Saudi Arabia Yazeed Al-Rajhi

Russian Federation Konstantin Zhiltsov

10307Netherlands Bernhard ten Brinke

Belgium Tom Colsoul


Source: Motorsport.com    Image: Motorsport images