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Dakar Rally: Fernando Alonso 11th After Ist Stage Won By Vaidotas Zala


LAHORE MIRROR (Monitoring Desk)– Two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso finished 11th on stage one of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.

The Spaniard is making his debut in the event for Toyota and trying to become the first F1 world champion to win it.

The 38-year-old, alongside navigator and five-time Dakar motorbike champion Marc Coma, was over a quarter of an hour behind winner Vaidotas Zala on the 752km route from Jeddah to Al Wajh.

Monday’s second stage is a 393km drive from Al Wajh to Neom.

Lithuanian Zala led home a one-two-three for Mini, two minutes 14 seconds clear of team-mates Stephane Peterhansel, the 13-time Dakar champion, and Carlos Sainz.

Defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah, who led for more than 200km, finished fourth after late mechanical problems with his Toyota.

Defending motorbike champion Toby Price of Australia won the first bike stage ahead of America’s Ricky Brabec and Austria’s Matthias Walkner.