With a huge smile, Tom Coronel stepped out of the Century in the bivouac of Al Ula. On the driver’s side this time, because in the second stage of the Dakar 2023 Tim and Tim had swapped roles: Tom at the wheel, Tim with the roadbook. That earned the twins 22nd place in the second stage on January 2.
“It was kind of nice to be behind the wheel again, instead of navigating”
Tom Coronel – Dakar (Co-) Driver
“It was kind of nice to be behind the wheel again, instead of navigating,” Tom told us after the 430-kilometer test. “It went super well, we drove nicely. It was a very nice stage, with lots of rocks and some dunes at the end. It should have included two WRC stages, but I didn’t see any. Only stone paths.”
Twice Tom had to take a step off the gas. Once to drive back a little bit to pick up a missed waypoint (a digital measuring point), once to change a flat tire, at the end of the stage.
“We were a little off,” acknowledged Tim, who was also having a great time with the roadbook. “We only had to go back 3 kilometers. That didn’t amount to much. Tom did a super job. Just straight through the turns, flying low over the rocks. Gas on it!”
“The trails were already seriously broken,” Tom observed, “so I think we should be happy with where we rode.” Drivers like Terranova and Loeb, who had started in the top 10, finished behind Tim and Tom. Loeb had suffered three punctures. “We know it a little bit,” Tim added. “On days like this, with ith those stones, it’s a matter of survival and certainly not pushing the limit. I’m very content. It’s good.”
Tuesday’s stage is 669 kilometers, 447 of which are against the clock. The finishing point is the bivouac in Ha’il. On the menu are sand, trails and stones.