Coronel Brothers Still Fighting after Another ‘Tough’ Dakar Stage


Credit: Eric Vargiolu / DPPI

Brothers Tom and Tim Coronel continued their 2018 Dakar Rally experience on Thursday, and although they sit fifty-first overall after six stages, they finished only one hour, thirteen minutes and eighteen seconds off the stage winner as the event moved from Arequipa in Peru to La Paz in Bolivia.

They encountered no major problems during the final stage before the one and only rest day in the rally, with Tom Coronel revealing that only a small issue with an under-inflated tyre cost them any significant time, but they will able to rectify it relatively quickly.

“Once again, it was a tough stage,” said Tom. “The first part mainly included rally roads. Tim had found a great rhythm and the car was running smoothly. We were going really fast, we were overtaking many other competitors.

“Towards the neutralisation, however, things did go wrong briefly. We thought that we had a puncture at the rear, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. The pressure in our tyres was too low, so that the tyres simply came off the rim. A mistake by us.

“We were holding our breath in the cockpit for a while. At the border, we stopped at the Mini assistance team. There, we borrowed a compressor and the tyres were back on the rim just like that, no problem whatsoever.”

Brother Tim Coronel, on the driving duties for the Maxxis Dakar Team, admitted that they had doubts about the muddy section of the stage, and revealed that they had issues with the windscreen misting up, but they were able to make it to the end of the stage just before the natural light gave up on them.

“Fifty kilometres with mud!” said Tim. “We were thinking: ‘This really is impossible’, but we still had to make it through. The windscreen misted up regularly, so we did it slowly while Tom was trying to keep the windows clean from the inside.

“Maik Willems shot past us, he was going three times faster than we were. The final part of the stage went well again and thus we made it to the finish just before darkness fell.”