Stage 2 of the Dakar 2020 flagged off from Al Wajh heading north alongside the Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast towards Neom. The relatively short Stage had no dunes in it, however, with the change of rules, competitors were given the road book minutes before the start making navigating much more difficult through the mountainous terrain. In the end, Giniel De Villiers won the Stage 2 setting a time of 3h:37m:20s.
Local hero Yazeed Al Rajhi led most of the Stage reaching first at each of the five waypoints and was up by over six minutes after 250 kilometres. This help the Team Overdrive Toyota driver to make up for the time loss he incurred on Stage 1. However, South African De Villiers raced ahead in his Toyota Gazoo and finished more than three minutes clear off Orlando Terranova. The sixth position in stage one and second in Stage 2 means the Terranova is at the top of the leaderboard driving his X-Raid Mini JCW.
Another Emirati driver Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi of Abu Dhabi grabbed the third position in Stage 2 ahead of Mathieu Serradori who finished fourth. Meanwhile, defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah maintained his demeanour through the terrains and finished fifth in the Stage and climbing to third in the overall ranking. A sixth position finish for veteran Carlos Sainz means he is comfortably sitting at second in the general leaderboard. And Stage 1 winner Vaidatos Zala crossed the finish line at 10th dropping to fifth in the overall ranking
On the other hand, Dakar debutant and former Formula 1 champion, Fernando Alonso almost said goodbye to his 2020 campaign after his Toyota’s wheel suffered damage on the mountainous terrain. Carrying out repair work with his co-driver Marc Coma, the Spaniard lost almost two hours in the outback pit stop.
After a flawless run on the first Stage and most of the second, Alonso admitted he was blinded by dust from two competitors ahead when he hit a hole which tore off the left-front wheel of their Gazoo Hilux. The duo had to slow down after fixing the car with available resources and finished 63rd on Monday evening. However, all is not lost since, after the appeal from his team, Alonso is cleared to start at 17th position for Stage 3.