Brothers Tim and Tom Coronel may have completed the 2018 Dakar Rally down in thirty-fifth position, but the Dutchmen were delighted to finish such a demanding, fourteen-stage event.
The Maxxis Dakar Team duo were thirtieth fastest on Saturday’s final stage, twenty-five minutes and two seconds behind stage winner Giniel de Villiers, but the most important thing was to bring the car home at the end of a gruelling event.
“We have made it!” said Tim Coronel. “It was quite an adventure again, unbelievable, but now, we are here after the toughest Dakar ever.
“While many drivers and riders retired, we kept going. A Coronel doesn’t give up, that is what we have shown!”
Tom Coronel felt it was a great final day around the Argentine city of Cordoba, and although not as demanding as the previous stages, it was still a thrill to complete the rally.
“It was quite an exciting day after all,” said Tom. “They call it a tour around the city, more for the show than for the proper rally.
“The stage wasn’t very tough, but when things go wrong, you still don’t finish. From that perspective, this day was as thrilling as all the others. Tim started off quietly, perhaps very quietly. I think that was also because of the tension.
“After the halfway point, we found to our rhythm. On the road, we had a lot of fun, it was clear to us that we were going to be all right.”
Tom revealed that they ran the final couple of stages without a windscreen, which made the river crossings an interesting proposition, and it left the duo feeling like they’d been in a swimming pool, as wet as they were.
“Since the penultimate stage, we had been driving without the windscreen,” said Tom. “Today, part of the route included some river crossings.
“We alternated in choosing: flat out, at half throttle or at walking pace. So it was clear what happened! Flat out, just like in the good old days. A swimming pool in the car, we were soaked, but we laughed a lot. And the fans liked it as well. A great way to end!”