2020 Dakar: Watch Racing Ace Fernando Alonso Roll His Toyota Racing Truck Twice and Keep Driving
Finding a racing driver as tough as Fernando Alonso is like trying to find a second needle in a haystack. During his Formula 1 career, the sharp-witted Spaniard faced down (and often beat) legends like Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, and when he wasn't driving a car capable of winning Grands Prix, he was busy making disastrous race cars look like thoroughbreds. Alonso more than earned the right to jump ship from F1 into the some of the best drives available, from Indycar to the World Endurance Championship, in which he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice with Toyota. He stuck with Toyota for his latest racing venture, the now Saudi-hosted Dakar Rally, which so far hasn't gone to plan.
In low-visibility conditions during the rally's second stage, Alonso smashed the suspension of his Dakar-spec Toyota Hilux, repair of which left him 154 minutes adrift of the race leader, and in 11th place. Alonso's standings worsened on Wednesday when, less than two miles into a 332-mile stage, he locked his brakes just before cresting a sand dune. His Toyota yawed to the left, and crossed over the dune's edge sideways, entering a 720-degree roll from which his truck emerged on its wheels.
Being tough sons-of-guns, Alonso and his co-driver Marc Coma fired the Hilux back up within seconds of coming to a stop, doing so before onlookers even had a chance to check on the truck's occupants. Alonso threw the truck in gear and peeled off to continue the race, though the penalty for his roll was more severe than a few lost seconds—damage sustained during the tumble took Alonso and Coma some 68 minutes to fix, as the pair reportedly had to kick the windshield out to see where they were going. As of the end of Wednesday, Alonso and Coma sit 14th in the race's standings.
Unfortunately, not all Dakar crashes end in an entertaining video uploaded to social media. Over the weekend, Dakar veteran Paulo Goncalves suffered fatal injuries after crashing his bike, becoming the first competitor to pass away during the race since Michal Hernik in 2015. May Goncalves and all other drivers and riders who have lost their lives competing in the sport we share a love for rest in peace.
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