Five days went super well, but the sixth stage of the 2023 Dakar Rally was an off-day for Tim and Tom Coronel. The whole day was messy, with a shortened stage and long compounds before and after the rally stage. “Today was not our best day. You have these days as well sometimes.”
“Today was not our best day”
Tom Coronel – Dakar (Co-) Driver
The 31st time is not what we are used to from the Coronels by now. Until 60 kilometers before the finish of the 357-kilometer race test, there was no problem and they were on course for 22nd place, which suits them better. After a stretch of neutralization of about 65 kilometers, anything happened. “The beginning went quite nicely,” Tom says. “After the neutralization it got messy and chaotic. We got a flat tire on the front right. We changed that, but 3 kilometers later the new tire was also flat. In the end, we crossed the finish line with three flat tires. There must have been a fault in the exhaust system, because after the finish we pumped them up and were able to ride as normal.”
The hassle with the tires and the air pressure system caused stress in the car, causing the brothers to make some mistakes. All in all, it took about twenty minutes. Upon arrival at the bivouac, a cable from the tire exhaust system turned out to be broken.
The competitors had to travel 300 kilometers by road to Riyadh after the competition test, as a bivouac in Al Duwadimi was not possible. Tomorrow they will have to return 288 kilometers again, before the start of a 330-kilometer test. After that, two hours of service may be done on the car. After those two hours, the mechanics must return to Riyadh and the competitors in the race will go to Al Duwadimi where they will spend the night with limited resources – a tent, toothbrush and clean underpants.