It certainly didn’t come naturally, but Tim and Tom Coronel can tick off the 2023 Dakar Rally. Because of the mountain of penalty time they received after the rollover in stage 7 they didn’t manage to make a good classification, but as far as the brothers are concerned, this Dakar might count double. “This Dakar was tougher than it has been in years,” they said.
“This Dakar was tougher than it has been in years”
Tom & Tim Coronel – Dakar Contestants
They drove every meter and finished every day. Only it turned out that being towed on three wheels on public roads was not allowed. For that, Tim and Tom Coronel received so much penalty time that the standings no longer counted. Tom was still a little sick about it at the finish of the last stage, in which they finished 30th. “I do like the competition and the performance and we were very well off,” he said. “We were riding around place 15 and the two days of misery we had after the rollover might have cost us time, but we were never in big trouble and the car did fine.”
The eighth stage was full of follow-up damage from the rollover and on the rest day the engine had to be replaced as a result, resulting in even more penalty time. “When you are out of the competition, you only go for the finish line,” Tom explained. “That we reached it is a nice milestone. When you start looking closely and see how many cars and trucks are still running, but not for the classification, you understand what an intense Dakar this has been.”
After the rest day, Tim and Tom went into survival mode, as Tim calls it. “Then only riding out counts. I’m glad we did manage to do that. We hardly had any problems with the car so it’s just in there. The last few days were also super beautiful, with very special scenery.” “We saw beautiful things and were seriously thrown in at the deep end,” adds Tom. “And it was another really nice adventure with my little brother.”