Coronel brothers hoping to put fuel cooling issues behind them

Credit: Maxxis Dakar Team

The Coronel brothers Tim and Tom managed had a more successful time on the second stage of the 2018 Dakar Rally as they finished the day in fifty-ninth position overall.

Following issues on the opening day where the fuel was overheating, forcing them to stop to cool things down, the Dutch duo powered on in the Damen Jefferies designed buggy, covering over 250 kilometres.

“The team made quite a few changes during the night to solve the problem.” said Tim. “The changes were significant with plenty of extra cooling in the bodywork. The guys have done a great job!”

While the repairs helped for a while, they hadn’t been fixed completly, with the pair having to stop in the middle of the desert and enlist the help of the locals.

“We met them at CP 2. Tim got some fuel from their tank and we gave them the entire rear bodywork of our car,” said Tom. “We said to them: ‘Please take care of it and bring it to the bivouac’. And sure enough, they made a detour of at least 50 kilometres to deliver the bodywork.

“Really cool that he showed up in front of the gate, hat off to him! We hoped that removing the bodywork would reduce the problems, but that wasn’t really the case. But anyway, we are back in the bivouac, even before darkness, so that is fine. Tomorrow is another day!”

Talking about the new car, after the opening stages Tom said, “So, that was the first cut. What a machine, what a car! It is unbelievable how the car is running, no matter what the conditions are.

“We only had some technical issues, these need to be sorted. Fortunately, we came back before darkness set in, I didn’t fully expect that. The problems were a little bit bigger than we had hoped but that is Dakar for you.

“Now a night of work to get everything sorted again and then I am fully confident that we will be able to pull of great things.

“All in all, it was just a solid test run. I am convinced that we will be OK. But what a car, simply unbelievable! I am very, very grateful to my sponsors that I am able to experience this again. When we make it to the finish, I will really go crazy! What a monster of a car!”