Alonso's first time in Arabia ends with a podium

The Asturian and Coma do not fail in the last stage of 175 km and take with their Toyota the third place of Al Ula Neom Rally that Al Rajhi wins.


When Alonso and Coma take the exit of the Dakar 2020 on January 5, they will leave with an advantage over most of their rivals: not only will they start the rally already knowing what it is to run through those same lands, but they will also know what it is to do to end up on a podium. Ok, the Al UIa Neom Rally has no possible comparison with the demands that they will have to overcome there in less than two months, both on stage and grounds and on opponents, but they went to Saudi Arabia to accumulate experiences and that is one of them.

With the sudden loss of one of the members of the group of favorites, Al Qassimi after suffering problems in the engine of his Peugeot, Alonso rose on Saturday knowing that he had within his reach a privileged position on the podium. He just had to make sure he successfully dodged all the obstacles he encountered in the last special of the 175-kilometer competition with a final in Neom. And he did it, in addition, with the good rhythm that all these four days has allowed him to follow closely to the head.

That, on the farewell day, resulted in a time of 1h 36:16, that is, longer than on Friday's stage despite having 56 kilometers less because they crossed more wild and demanding areas. In the same way, he was also supposed to finish in third position after the two who fought for Saturday's victory and the global one: the Saudis Al Rajhi and Bin Seaidan. The second of them took an advantage on the first day that allowed him to reach the last one with options, but Toyota's ended all with his third consecutive stage victory.

With a time of 1h 30:45, Al Rajhi took almost three and a half minutes to Bin Seaidan to get victorious out of the Ula Neom Rally with 2:09 of final advantage. A success that can not be more deserved for the fastest man of all, with which Alonso gave five and a half minutes in the last stage and 16:20 in the total competition. That is the difference between the two Hilux that the Spanish couple will have to reduce when the moment of truth arrives. This time they just wanted to finish to do all the kilometers

And the good thing is that they didn't have to look back because they left Al Dossary over 18 minutes away. Thus, while those who were his companions in the WEC kept the fourth and fifth position of the grid in the 4 Hours of Shanghai leaving the pole in the hands of a non-hybrid prototype, something that did not happen since 2012, Alonso stepped on a He took his new Toyota in his first time in Saudi Arabia. Not a bad way to start your adventures in 'Dakar territory' ...



Photos from as.com
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