Rocks just like in Peru
January 6 th 2020 - 08:00 [GMT + 3]
Fernanda Kanno and Alonso Carrillo finished the first stage in 74th position. After a shaky stage on the terrain of Saudi Arabia, the Peruvian duo is preferring to err on the side of caution to ensure their continuing participation in the rally.
The first Peruvian woman to take part in the Dakar, Fernanda Kanno has participated in the last two editions of the most famous rally-raid. In 2019, she finished 49th in the car category in a race that never left the borders of her native country. Now, however, she is discovering the Saudi Arabian sands. “In fact, it is oddly like the landscape on which I’m used to training,” she said on finishing the first stage. “Both Alonso and I had this impression at the end of the first special and we almost forgot that we were far from Peru, which just goes to show, wherever you go on the planet, we share the same earth”. This television journalist well-known in her home country should have said the same rocks too, because, on the first stage between Jeddah and Al Wajh, Fernanda Kanno and her co-pilot Alonso Carrillo received a hearty helping of them. “There were rocks everywhere,” says the young lady. “Usually, the first stage of the Dakar is an introduction to the race and a warm-up, but this time it was really tough. The wheels of our car have really suffered and I was afraid I would break them. We decided to use the wheels from last year to start the rally and I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to complete the day. As a result, we lost a fair bit of time, because I was driving really slowly to look after the machinery. I couldn’t take the risk of breaking a wheel rim. In fact, I don’t know how they managed to withstand such a battering. My wrists are sore due to all the bumps I could feel through the steering wheel”. However, these difficulties have not made her lose her sense of humour. As they finished the special at 23.00 local time, Fernanda grabbed Alonso by the arm, chuckling: “You see, we haven’t finished that late!” With his thick beard and long black hair, the eyes of her co-pilot were also sparkling. “It was tough, but we really enjoyed it,” he declared. “It was a mini-Dakar, with a bit of everything: sand, rocks, quick sections, even quicker sections, slow parts and even slower parts… all in all, a good introduction”.