Alonso 11th on Dakar Rally debut
Fernando Alonso made a solid start to his Dakar Rally debut by placing 11th on the opening stage in Saudi Arabia.
Two-time Formula One champion Alonso finished the 319-kilometre timed special up the coast from Jeddah to Al Wajh in three hours, 34 minutes and 31 seconds to miss out on a spot in the top 10.
The Spaniard, who was won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and competed in the Indy 500 since retiring from F1, crossed the line 15 minutes and 27 seconds adrift of stage winner Vaidotas Zala.
Stephane Peterhansel was second and Carlos Sainz third, while defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah lost five minutes and 33 seconds to a trio of late punctures.Modified 05 Jan 2020, 19:20 IST