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Alonso steps out of comfort zone as Dakar challenge awaits

2019-10-01 13:55

Sean Parker


Marc Coma (left) and Fernando Alonso during their off-road outing at the Lichtenburg 400 in the North West. Image: Motorpress

Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso is intent on becoming the best in yet another motorsport discipline: rally raid. 

The Spaniard was recently in South Africa testing the Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux in the Lichtenburg 400, a leg of the local cross-country championship.  

Alonso has been on a gruelling testing programme over the past few months as he aims to gain enough seat time to tackle the Dakar Rally in January 2020. 

The 38-year-old spoke to Wheels24’s Sean Parker and said he is challenging himself to try and win in different disciplines.

The outing in Lichtenburg saw Alonso roll the Gazoo Racing Hilux early on the first loop before he hit a guinea fowl on the second loop to finish 16th overall. 

"Being able to adapt to different things has been my biggest strength of my career, in Formula 1, so why not adapt to the total motorsport, not only Formula 1,” the former Renault and McLaren driver said.

"At the moment we are evaluating (in rally-raid) and its been a good challenge,” Alonso said.

Alonso’s co-driver in Lichtenburg was Marc Coma, who is no stranger to the gruelling Dakar Rally having won the event no less than five times in the bike category. 

If the Spanish duo is to tackle the dunes of Saudi Arabia from 5-17 January 2020, the experience of Coma as a former Dakar race director and winner could give them the edge. 

"You can be the best driver in Formula 1, the best driver in rally, the best driver (sic) in MotoGP, but if you can be the best driver in everything that will be even better. So that’s the challenge," said Alonso.  


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