Fernando Alonso takes first rally podium in Saudi Arabia

Double Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso claimed his first podium in rallying after classifying third at the Al Ula-Neom Cross-Country Rally in Saudi Arabia.

Alonso has been ramping up his preparations for the upcoming Dakar Rally, which will take place in Saudi Arabia, following its move from recent home South America.

Alonso has been competing in endurance rallies aboard a Toyota Hilux – with which he will tackle the two-week desert challenge – and he and co-driver Marc Coma placed third in the four-day event.

The event was won by Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Konstantin Zhiltsov, with Yasir Seaidan and François Cazalet finishing second.

Alonso left Formula 1 at the end of 2018 to pursue new challenges through remains affiliated with McLaren through a test and ambassadorial role.

Alonso claimed back-to-back Le Mans 24 Hours victories with Toyota – sealing the 2018/19 World Endurance Championship crown – earlier this year, prior to departing the series.

Alonso’s pursuit of motorsport’s Triple Crown also continued this year but his tilt at the Indianapolis 500 ended in acrimony amid his and McLaren’s failure to qualify for the race.

Alonso has yet to confirm whether he will return to the event in 2020.