One of the tests that Toyota prepared to educate Fernando Alonso in the logic dakariana was conceived expressly to improve the knowledge on mechanics of the pilots. The spaniard did not disappoint the team principal, Glyn Hall: “I have seen It work at 45 degrees in the middle of the desert. He has everything controlled,” he stated, just before the beginning of the Dakar Rally. Just two stages after Alonso and his teammate Marc Coma had to demonstrate all they had learned.
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And they came out pretty well unemployed. After a boot excellent in the second stage, which carried the Dakar caravan to Neom, a city still not in the maps, a project of a tourist destination with little more than a modern airport, and gleaming, immaculate white, the couple more media coverage of this issue fell into a trap. Was the kilometre 160 of the special. They spent a few minutes at 11 in the morning. And there were a few more hours.
“We were leaving things very well, but there was a time in which we got together with the car in front, plus a quad and a bike and formed a cloud of static dust. And there we got into a ditch, we try to curb, but we had already completely booted up, the left front wheel,” explained Coma. “We had zero visibility. We do not know with what we have hit because I could not see anything,” said Alonso.
the One and the other were made to repair the disaster with which they had to hand. Used zip ties and electrical tape to leave the step. Initially, they had intended to wait for the assistance truck, which would have taken about four or five hours to get there. But they began to fish, and when they realized he had already achieved.
"That'll sort it"— DAKAR RALLY (@dakar) January 6, 2020
"Yeah that'll do the trick"
Zip-ties and duct-tape.????@alo_oficial @marc_coma #Dakar2020 pic.twitter.com/ICiZRijiTP
“We started to disassemble the parts that we could, with a lot of peace of mind; we were in contact with the team, we were reporting how they were going to progress... And at one point we were told: ‘if you do manage to do this and that, almost, almost what you are going to repair you”. And so it was. The repair was not simple, the wheel had been about 30 or 40 metres behind, the suspensions were damaged... “it Is true that we were not accustomed to this type of work, but we have done our homework,” he smiled a Coma.
“I wanted to live the Dakar with all the extras and this is part of the experience,” quipped Alonso, who got out of the car in a very good mood. They had managed to repair the car and complete the stage. When they returned to jump on the Toyota were a little more than 200 kilometres of a special 367. Arrived at the end, after 2h 34m 38s, so that you didn't give more than the time that had been devoted to the mechanical works.
in Addition, the rhythm that managed to impose Alonso in the morning was fantastic. His car went through the first step very fast, it marked the fourth-best time at the 104 km, from the eighth to the 159, just before his Dakar off to the fret. To resume driving again to impose the same rhythm with which he had started the day, despite the fact that the car was without a front brake. Not to do crazy things, but neither let go of the accelerator, the two times world champion of formula 1.
“I'm glad I'm still here. The result is the only negative from today,” said the spaniard. Its aim, they say, remains to finish the Rally. “Now begins another race for us”, he assumed a Coma. Have been off the hook in the general classification at the position 83, which will change the way you cope with the appointment.
You don't have the pressure of not being able to go wrong. You already have done, so wasting time will be the least of it. His role in the race will also depend on what you need your teammates at Toyota. You may one day try to make time, even try to win a stage. Another, perhaps, have to stay to take a cable to De Villiers, or to Al-Attiyah, who is playing the Rally. “We will do what the team tell us, as always”, he assumed a Coma.
To ensure a safe driving requested the commissioners to leave in a most forward position, as does the regulation in these cases. If you had to leave in the position in which they finished the stage, 63rd, would be surrounded by trucks. In the case of competitors it is usual that the address of the Dakar will make that exception. So it was, and Alonso will start in 17th.
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