Tim and Tom Coronel had no idea after their rollover in the seventh stage of the 2023 Dakar Rally that such a crash could still cause all kinds of consequential damage. Since the eighth stage, they have been aware of it. Therefore, on the rest day in Riyadh, the Century was turned completely inside out and even fitted with and new engine. “We will start the second stage with an almost new car,” Tim told us.
“We will start the second stage with an almost new car”
Tim Coronel – Dakar Driver
On stage eight, all sorts of things fell off the car and broke down. The only reason imaginable was the quadruple rollover a day before. “A shock absorber doesn’t break if there’s no hole to be seen where you’ve crashed into,” Tim knows, “And the engine doesn’t just stop either. It took a big hit in that crash too, that’s obvious.”
The Century’s engine plummeted en route from the finish of the test to the bivouac in Riyadh. So Tim and Tom reached that bivouac again in tow behind a truck. The mechanics didn’t think the rest day alone would be enough and started immediately at midnight, after Tim and Tom arrived. “Before they went to sleep, they had already taken the engine out,” Tim says. “This morning at seven o’clock they continued. We got from Century a used, but good engine from Brian Baragwanath, and it’s hanging in there now. And other than that, they renewed everything that could be renewed. There has been such an incredible amount of work done, I can only have enormous admiration and gratitude for it.”
Tim is looking forward to the second week. “We are no longer competing for the standings, but we still want to show that we belong where we rode.” Starting Tuesday, five more stages await competitors, three of which are in the infamous Empty Quarter. The Rubʿ al-Khali, as the region is called in Arabic, is the largest area of unbroken sand and dunes in the world and is known for its inhospitality as much as its beauty. The ninth stage takes participants first in a southeastern direction to Haradh. The stage totals 710 kilometers, 439 kilometers count toward the race.