Alonso “has pace to find” in Saudi Arabian desert rally

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Fernando Alonso says he was relieved to enjoy a “trouble-free” opening stage of the Al Ula-Neom Cross-Country Rally in Saudi Arabia, as he gears up for next year’s Dakar Rally in his Gazoo Racing Toyota Hilux.

This is Alonso’s first event since a troubled outing in the recent Morocco Rally left him with a "bittersweet" feeling – which included a heavy crash into a ditch. Alonso ended the first stage in fourth place, 7m43s off leader Yasir Bin Seaidan’s Mini.

“It was a trouble-free stage for us,” said Alonso. “We didn’t have any issues this time, we completed the 210km. We still have some pace to find but we really wanted one day with no issues after Morocco and South Africa.

“We did that today, in nice terrain, nice views out there. Hopefully tomorrow we will increase the pace a little bit.”

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Alonso left with "bittersweet" feeling in Morocco

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About this article

Series Cross-Country Rally
Event Al Ula-Neom Rally
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Teams Gazoo Racing
Author Charles Bradley