Dakar Stage 2 Highlights: De Villiers wins as Alonso suffers setback

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The second stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally saw Orlando Terranova take the overall race lead while rookie Fernando Alonso lost more than two hours due to damage. 

Here are some of today’s highlights:

In the cars class, Ginel de Villiers won the stage following a mistake made late in the race by Yazeed Al-Rajhi. Orlando Terranova finished second, 3:57 behind, while Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi finished the stage in the third position, 5:42 behind. 

Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso finished a disappointing 63rd after sustaining damage and losing a wheel when his car hit a rock. Alonso and co-driver Marc Coma lost over two hours while attempting to repair their Toyota Hilux.

Overall: Orlando Terranova holds an advantage of 4:43 over Carlos Sainz.

In bikes, Ross Branch led Sam Sunderland by 1:24 to win the stage, while Pablo Quintanilla finished third, 2:21 behind. Stage 1 winner Toby Price had a difficult day, finishing 17th. Price now sits ninth overall. 

Overall: Sam Sunderland holds an advantage of 1:18 over Pablo Quintanilla. 

In side by sides, Francisco Lopez Contardo won by a healthy margin of 11:46, but the race for the next three positions behind him was much closer. Jose Antonio Hinojo Lopez, Conrad Rautenbauch, and Austin Jones all finished within nine seconds of each other, finishing second through fourth, respectfully. 

Overall: Francisco Lopez Contardo holds an advantage of 9:37 over Casey Currie.

In quads, the top two finishers remained the same as they were in stage 1, as Ignacio Casale once again won over Rafal Sonik. Casale won stage 2 by a margin of 3:33, bringing his overall advantage over Sonik to more than nine minutes. Simon Viste finished third, 10:51 behind. 

Overall: Ignacio Casale holds an advantage of 9:09 over Rafal Sonik.

In trucks, Siarhei Viazovich won by 1:46 over Dmitry Sotnikov, while Andrey Karginov finished third, 2:07 behind.

Overall: Siarhei Viazovich holds an advantage of 4:20 over Dmitry Sotnikov. 

Stage Wins

Cars: (1) Vaidotas Zala (Stage 1) and (1) Giniel De Villiers (Stage 2)

Bikes: (1) Toby Price (Stage 1) and (1) Ross Branch (Stage 2)

Quads: (2) Ignacio Casale (Stage 1 and Stage 2)

Side-by-sides: (1)  Aron Domzala (Stage 1) and (1) Francisco Lopez Contardo (Stage 2)

Trucks: (1)  Anton Shibalov (Stage 1) and (1) Siarhei Viazovich (Stage 2)

Highlights of Stage One will air on NBCSN this evening at 5:00 p.m. ET, with highlights of Stage Two airing immediately after at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter 

Lucas Oil Late Models, All Star Sprints postpone April events

Lucas Oil Dirt
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In separate press releases, the Lucas Oil Late Model series and the All Star Circuit of Champions announced the postponement of their April schedules.

Both releases cite extended federal social distancing guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for the postponements and cancelations.

For the Lucas Oil Late Model series, the extension affects races at Hagerstown Speedway (originally scheduled for April 18), Port Royal Speedway (April 19), Tri-City Speedway (April 24), and Macon Speedway (April 25). The series hopes to resume the original schedule on May 1st at Ponderosa Speedway and May 2nd at Florence Speedway.

Port Royal Speedway’s Rumble by the River, originally scheduled for April 19th, has been postponed until Thursday, August 27th.

The Nininger Tribute at Hagerstown Speedway, scheduled for April 18th, has now been canceled. Also canceled are the Budweiser 50 at Tri-City Speedway scheduled for April 24th and the April 25th event at Macon Speedway.

At this time, races are set to resume on May 1 at Ponderosa Speedway in Junction City, Kentucky. Backup dates have been announced for Ponderosa (September 4) and Florence Speedway (August 12) should they be needed.

The events affected for the All Star Circuit of Champions include Attica Raceway Park’s Spring Nationals (April 10-11), Thursday Night Thunder at Virginia Motor Speedway (April 16), the Tommy Hinnershitz Classic at Williams Grove Speedway (April 17), the Keith Kauffman Classic at Port Royal Speedway (April 18), the Johnny Grum Classic at Bedford Speedway (April 19) and the season’s first visit to Wayne County Speedway (April 25).

Series and track officials are working together to find suitable make-up dates.

“We are all in the same boat with every other sanctioning body and sports league in America right now and we want to be part of the solution and abide by state orders and federal guidelines,” said Tony Stewart, owner of the All Stars in a press release. “Originally, we were going to take a week-to-week approach, but with the stay at home orders in certain states and social distancing guidelines, it made sense to postpone the month of April. We aren’t going to put anyone on the road and at risk until we are given the green light by state and federal officials. Thank you to the tracks for the open lines of communication over the past few weeks. We hope to reschedule as many dates as possible once we are able to return to racing.”

Conditions permitting, the All Star Circuit of Champions will begin their 2020 championship point season on Friday and Saturday, May 1-2, with visits to Lernerville Speedway and Sharon Speedway, respectively.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter