Tim and Tom Coronel will race the Dakar 2024, you can follow their proceedings on this page, which we will update daily!
January 19th 2024: Best result for Tim and Tom Coronel in Dakar Rally 2024
With the 22nd position in the final classification of the Dakar Rally, Tim and Tom Coronel achieved their best result ever. In the Century CR6 they drove a very stable rally, but lost a lot of time in the tenth stage. It was one of the toughest Dakars ever for the brothers, especially in the Empty Quarter. They are very happy with the result, Dakar did not take them down.
Tim really enjoyed the rally. “It was really one of the most beautiful, especially in terms of challenge. So nice that we made it, of course it still has to sink in. But super to see how everyone participated. The car did very well, thanks everyone. I’m going to enjoy it a little bit more today.”
Tim and Tom’s experience paid off during the rally. “They really tried to knock everyone out, but it didn’t work out for the Coronel brothers. We really buffeted for two weeks and it was a very tough one. Especially in the Empty Quarter and all the rocks. The 48-hour stage was super tough, with those huge dunes. The experience of us that pays off then,” Tom told us.
During the rally they actually had no problems. “It actually went super well and only had one problem, which was the day before yesterday with the wheel. But we drove our best finish ever and that while the competition is only getting stronger. We are very happy with the result.”
January 18th 2024: Tim and Tom drive through the dust with infinite patience
Tim and Tom Coronel’s eleventh stage of the Dakar Rally was marked by dust. They had to start 133rd and had a large number of competitors ahead of them who were slower than the brothers. With great concentration and patience, they maneuvered between the dust and the other competitors. The Century CR6 felt good and no mistakes were made in the car.
Dust, that sums up the day in one word. “Obviously we started at the back with about 100 slower cars in front of us and we ran into a lot of them,” Tom says. “It was actually constantly driving in the dust and being patient. You can’t just overtake because we were driving through valleys and a lot of trails with rocks, so you don’t get next to them that easily. So it was one by one overtaking and that went totally well.”
The men had little eyes at the finish, that was because of the focus told Tim. “You’re so focused riding and looking through that dust. We really had angelic patience, they won’t believe that at home. It was 6.5 hours with the helmet on through the dust, I haven’t experienced that before. But we had a good time.”
Tomorrow is the final stage, a 174-kilometer run around Yanbu. Much of which is sand and tracks with stones. So it will be important to maintain focus until the last kilometer.
January 17th 2024: Broken wheel results in big time loss for Tim and Tom
On the tenth stage of the Dakar Rally everything is going well for Tim and Tom Coronel until suddenly the left front wheel breaks. They immediately start tinkering, but have to wait about three hours for the right part. Tim and Tom reach the finish, but seem to miss out on a top twenty ranking by heart.
It was actually the first breakdown for Tim and Tom. “We have had zero problems so far, but this is part of Dakar. Very unfortunate, but on the other hand, we have to make the best of it. Sports-wise, we have to say hello to the top 20. Sometimes it’s with us and sometimes it’s against us. This is Dakar,” Tim says.
At the moment the wheel broke off, there was nothing wrong. Tom explains, “We rode well, had a good rhythm, all the caps were good and were around 25th time. On a long straight with nobody in front or behind us the wheel suddenly broke off. Really hard blow, the wheel was a few hundred meters away. Probably it was the steering ball or the suspension ball. We didn’t do any hard hits or anything weird, so this was kind of crazy.”
Fixing the car was fairly quick. “We just had to wait for the wheelhub. Normally we have that with us, but today we didn’t. The rest did, we waited two hours and in an hour everything was back in place. Then back on the road in the dark. Then navigating was seriously difficult, but it all went well. We got to the finish, that’s the most important thing.”
Tomorrow the eleventh and penultimate stage of the rally is scheduled. This one goes from Al Ula to Yanbu and is 420 kilometers long. It is a stage with lots of sharp stones, but also some sand.
January 16th 2024: Tim and Tom are content after a long and challenging ninth stage
In the Century CR6, Tim and Tom Coronel experienced a good ninth stage of the Dakar Rally. The long test was a real challenge due to the different surfaces, but the car did not budge and performed excellently. Tim and Tom made no mistakes despite tricky navigation, heavy sand, steep climbs and lots of jumps.
The test began with all the little jumps that just didn’t end. “At one point I wondered if it would stop, just those little jumps. That suited our car very well, but there were also some steep climbs in there. We didn’t always make it up those in one go, but with a detour it went well,” Tim said.
The navigation was tricky again today. “We made it to all the waypoints, but had to search a few times. One was sneaky hidden in a cliff, but it went very well. It was also very diverse, with heavy sand and all kinds of difficult trails over rocks. We even had a real trail course in it. I thought it was a really cool test,” Tom said.
Tim thought the Century did very well on this terrain. “The car held up well, which was pretty good. I had a feeling that the new gearbox didn’t feel quite right in third gear, we’ve been driving that for two days now. We’ll check that in the bivouac. In the last bit there was some dust in the car so we didn’t see as much. So there was still a little more pace in it.”Tomorrow the tenth stage will be run, this one a loop around Al Ula. The 371-kilometer test is circumscribed as a devilish obstacle course where they are going to encounter a lot of stones and rocks.
January 15th 2024: High dunes cause surprise for Tim and Tom Coronel
At the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally, the dunes turned out to be quite high after all. Here and there it was difficult to reach the top for Tim and Tom Coronel. Together they made no mistakes and relied blindly on each other which meant that the speed, even in the dust, was high. They were happy with another trouble-free stage.
Tim was even surprised by dunes in this stage. “I thought we had left the real dunes behind us by now, but even today we really had to do our best at times to get over them. After one more tightening and with a different tire pressure we managed. We also had a lot of dust again, especially behind the trucks. In terms of navigation it went well again, on the plateaus the speed was high and we were always just right. So I was happy with it.”
The dunes were also surprising for Tom. “I think we lost too much time there, but that was mainly due to the lack of traction. I still don’t quite understand why we couldn’t find it, because then you just don’t make it to the top and you have to do it again. In the dust of those trucks you only notice how important navigation was today, because we kept up the speed. But we saw almost nothing, so that was fun.”
During the final days, reaching the finishes is the most important thing for the brothers. “Above all, we have to stay out of trouble and finish every day. That’s the most important thing, we had zero problems again today, the car was good again, no navigation or driver errors. In this way we will naturally creep into the top twenty.”
The ninth stage will be a very fast one from Ha’il to Al Ula. In the 436-kilometer test, speed is high, navigation is important and the tracks are more tangible than visible. Confidence in the car must be present to achieve a good result.
January 14th 2024: Tim and Tom were expecting a little more love from the organization after the rest day
During the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally, Tim and Tom Coronel encountered everything. It was a tough test on varied terrain with rocks and dunes, as well as difficult navigation. Along the way, the brothers made no mistakes and finished just in the light. Tim had thought the organization would be a little sweet after the rest day, but it wasn’t to be.
Tim and Tom were happy to be at the finish line of another tough stage. “I expected them to be a little bit sweeter this way after the rest day,” Tim says. “They went right back into it full throttle, but again the test had everything. Dunes, rocks, navigation and wadis. The navigation was really important and it was good, otherwise we wouldn’t have reached the finish. So we are happy with that and that we are getting back to the front a little bit.”
Since the stage was long, the team had mounted Hella lights on the car just to be sure. “We had those on for the last five minutes at dusk,” Tom said. “We had estimated we might just come in at dark, but it went well. The navigation was difficult and there were some tricky spots in there.”
In addition to the difficult navigation, Tim and Tom passed through beautiful dunes. “It was one of the toughest stages, after that 48-hour stage. Also with big dunes again. But we had no problems, no flat tires and no mistakes. So it was a tough but good day for us.” Tim and Tom moved up to 22nd position in the overall standings.
The eighth stage goes from Al Duwadimi to Ha’il with a long test divided into two sections. The first section is 165 kilometers long, then it is followed by a connection of 179 kilometers and the final section is 114 kilometers. The route is again varied with sand, stones and dunes.
January 13th 2024: Recovery day for Tim and Tom while the mechanics are hard at work
The first week of the Dakar Rally is over and it has been a tough rally so far. After six stages Tim and Tom Coronel are 25th in the general classification, in the second week they want to continue this upward trend. Today the mechanics of the Coronel Dakar Team are working hard to get the Century CR6 ready for the second week.
The car was in the bivouac early this morning and the mechanics got to work immediately. “The guys are checking everything and a lot of preventive replacements are being done,” Tim says. “The car was in the bivouac at 5 a.m. this morning, so it had been a while since the guys had seen the car. But they are already hard at work again.”
For example, the Century is being completely refreshed. “The gearbox, clutch, drive shafts, suspension, brakes, shock absorbers and you name it all are being checked and replaced. So tomorrow we will drive away from the bivouac with almost a new car.”
Besides the mechanics’ work, there is time for relaxation Tim and Tom. “We both have lunch dates with other drivers, so Tim gets to have drinks at the Rebellion and I get to go to Al Rajhi’s house,” Tom says. “These are always nice moments where you can have a nice chat about the rally, without the stress of it.”
Tomorrow the Dakar Rally continues again with the 7th stage, this one going from Riyadh to Al Duwadimi. The 483-kilometer test starts in a maze of canyons where navigation is important and concludes with an intense dune section.
January 12th 2024: Tim and Tom win the Empty Quarter
After two days in the dunes of the Empty Quarter, Tim and Tom Coronel are happy to be at the finish line. The 48h-chrono proved to be a real challenge in which man and machine were put to the test. The first day went well for the brothers, during the second day they did experience something. They got stuck a few times and during the last time the starter motor stopped working on the Century CR6, which took time. Then Tim and Tom decided to take it a little easier to avoid the problems and finish. They won from the dunes in the Empty Quarter.
On the very first dune of this long stage, Tim and Tom proved that they were well prepared. “We get an advisory in terms of tire pressure, but it was already too high before the first dune. Fortunately we had another lower one programmed and with that we rode up the dune effortlessly. During that first day we actually kept falling from one surprise to another of what we can do with the car,” Tom told us.
Navigation was not a problem, but they did miss a waypoint during that first stage. “We really missed that one by 10 meters. It was a very high dune and it was at the top, I thought the system would pick it up, but just didn’t. When we were down, we also saw that we couldn’t go up from the other side. So just a 15-minute penalty then, but otherwise it went well.”
Once in the bivouac it was quiet, Tim observed, “There were only a handful of motorcycles and cars in that bivouac. We got some food, sat around the campfire for a while and then just went to sleep. We continued this morning, but it was really tough. We started out nice, but got stuck twice and then we had to use the jacks to get loose. That took some time.”
The third time getting stuck took a little longer, Tim and Tom got stuck in a small dune pan and in the process the engine stalled. “And then the starter motor didn’t work, then the jacks don’t work either, so you can’t do anything. We stood there for a good hour before someone was able to give us a tow. We finally got one from Hennie de Klerk, a South African whom we also helped last year. But we had to go back 400 meters to retrieve all the bodywork and put it back on the car.”
After that, Tim and Tom decided not to take any risks and drive toward the finish. “That was with squeezed buttocks for a while,” Tom says. “There were few cars around us, so if the bike stalled, we’d have to wait a long time again. So we wanted to get to the finish line and we did. Wow, what a two days these were. We won from the Empty Quarter.”
Tim was also happy to be at the finish line: “How happy I was to see asphalt again. Those dunes were so high and soft, really bizarre. Sometimes we had to ride around a dune or push one more time to get over it. It was an exhilarating ride, but I’m glad we got out. Now to the bivouac and take a shower and freshen up, we’ve earned that.”
Tomorrow the rest day is scheduled in Riyadh, so the team still has a few more kilometers to drive before they get there. In Riyadh, the car will be completely checked and everything prepared for the rest of the rally.
January 11th 2024: Tim and Tom impressed by dunes as they give Peterhansel a helping hand
The sixth stage of the Dakar Rally is 549 kilometers over two days, on the first day Tim and Tom Coronel covered more than half of that. The dunes they have to get through are big, but they manage to stay out of trouble by driving smart. On the way they met Stéphane Peterhansel with problems, Tim and Tom helped by lending the hand jack after which he could continue his way.
Tim and Tom were especially impressed by the dunes. “Those dunes,” Tom began. “I’ve never seen this before. These were really the fiercest dunes ever. The people who still have to go through here tomorrow are going to have a tough time. We’ve been riding pretty much at ease, mainly wanting to stay out of trouble. It’s a long stage and it’s already a big mess.”
Along the way, they encountered the Audi of fourteen-time Dakar winner Peterhansel. “He had a problem with the car’s hydraulic system and as a result the automatic jack didn’t work. He needed to change his wheel but didn’t have a hand jack with him. We do have that on board our Century buggy and lent it out, which allowed him to continue. Peterhansel is now in the same bivouac as us, so it’s great that we can help each other out,” Tim said.
Tomorrow Tim and Tom still have more than 200 kilometers to go through the dunes. “Above all, we don’t want to have any problems, so mainly continue like this. We’re having a great time!”
January 10th 2024: Everything is going smoothly for Tim and Tom in the first dune stage
During the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally, Tim and Tom Coronel see nothing but sand. In a beautiful stage in the dunes they do not get stuck. The brothers do get a few knocks after some nasty steps, but the Century CR6 has no trouble with that.
Tom is especially concerned with tire pressure in the test. “I think that went well. Besides being a navigator, I’m obviously a driver, so I do feel the traction. That felt just fine, so we had that right. In the last bit we had even set the pressure very low, so we had to pump them up a little bit before we hit the asphalt.”
It was the first trial that basically consisted of nothing but sand. “It was a really nice test,” Tim says, “Nice in the dunes and otherwise just sand. There were some mean dismounts in between, a couple of times I hit them. But the car feels good, so that’s not a problem. We did get another alarm along the way, so we’ll have to check that in the bivouac. On to the next one.”
The next stage is a novelty in the Dakar Rally. The organization has planned a 48-hour stage. The start is in Shubaytah and with a long run of 572 kilometers at speed, the finish is also there. The test will go through the Empty Quarter and will consist of lots of sand and dunes. Along the way, participants will encounter a number of rest zones, if you drive in them after 4 hours, that will be the stopping point for that night.
There are few facilities in these rest areas and there will also be very limited communication with the outside world. In addition, the motorcycles follow a different route than the cars and trucks, adding to the challenge. Once at the finish line, the participants will proceed directly to Riyadh where the rest day will be on Saturday. Tim and Tom are ready for this special and extra-long stage.
January 9th 2024: In proper rhythm Tim and Tom move further and further forward
During the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally, Tim and Tom Coronel found the right rhythm. Little by little they are moving up in the standings and getting less and less affected by dust. Tom’s navigation was sharp today and that provided a lot of confidence in the Century CR6. The brothers are very satisfied after this very fast stage.
Tim was very pleased with Tom’s navigation, “It was a great day, but what I thought was the most clever today was the navigation. On those plains, Tom was right on time with the right direction at the right time. That felt really nice and that also gives you confidence. Then you can keep the momentum a bit more. So that was nice.”
The test was very nice, with fast sections in the beginning. “There we still had some trouble with dust from other cars, but we caught up with a few again. We are now moving further and further forward and getting more to where we are supposed to drive, then you have less and less trouble with it. On those fast flat sections we really had to drive blind around the roadbook and that was really cool to navigate.”
At the end of the test was another dune section where the cooperation between Tim and Tom was very good. “There you have to drive on cap,” Tom explained. “In the roadbook it says the direction, your cap, and how long you have to keep it. Then when you have the waypoint then the cap changes and so you have to react well to that. We had to look very briefly twice, but we just did it right. In those dunes Tim also rode very fast, nice pace.”
Tomorrow the fifth stage is on the program and it goes from Al Hofuf to Shubaytah. It looks like an easy stage on paper, with only 118 kilometers at speed, but it certainly isn’t. There is a long connection until the start and then the competitors dive into the sand of the Empty Quarter.
January 8th 2024: Tim and Tom with squeezed buttocks through third stage
After only 7 kilometers, Tim and Tom Coronel suffered their first puncture on the stones; after 100 kilometers this happened again and they ran out of spare tires. They therefore had to drive cautiously for more than 330 kilometers during the third stage of the Dakar Rally. Shortly before the finish, a motorcyclist came into the opposite direction and hit the Century CR6, there is quite a bit of damage and only a short time to repair everything.
It was a nice stage though Tom thought. “It was a really cool test. There were some really thick dunes in it, really straight up. We had to go back a few times to turn around, because we didn’t make it in one go. It was a varied course and some of the dunes were almost impossible to take, but it all went well.”
With 27 kilometers to go, something unexpected happened, Tim recounted. “Suddenly, a motorcyclist came up against us and hit the hood full on. We stopped immediately, but he felt fine. In the service we went to check him out right away and he had a broken leg. That was a bit of a scare though, but fortunately the motorcyclist is otherwise OK.”
The car did not come out of the third stage unscathed. “There was something at the back near the gearbox anyway, but the guys have already fixed that. Because of the collision with the motorcyclist, we still have to work on the front. The windshield is broken and we only have two hours of work today. So it was really a difficult day today.”
Tomorrow the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally goes from Al Salamiya to Al Hofuf. It will be a long day with more than 330 kilometers of connection and also 299 kilometers at speed. The main focus will be on navigation during the second half of the marathon stage.
January 7th 2024: Tim and Tom begin to enjoy themselves in Saudi dust
The second stage of the Dakar Rally is once again very dusty. Tim and Tom Coronel actually drive in it all day. This makes overtaking difficult, but the brothers manage to creep forward spot by spot. Tomorrow the marathon stage begins and Tim and Tom are ready for it.
Tim and Tom are still bothered by the result in the prologue. “It was another dusty one, we had to chase people a lot on those very fast trails. We did then have a little more speed than the people in front of us and when the wind is in the right direction you get closer. But then you go around the corner and you have the wind in front again and you ride in the dust and you have to get off the gas. But we keep overtaking people and moving up spot by spot,” Tom says.
In terms of navigation, it went almost flawlessly according to Tom. “It was pretty easy. At one waypoint we had to turn around for a while. A group of motorcyclists went left, we followed, but it wasn’t right so we immediately turned. That’s how we caught up with that whole club of motorcycles, so that went super.”
Tim agrees that they are still suffering a bit from the prologue. “Of course we knew after the day before yesterday that we would have a tough few days. But it was a beautiful day, with very nice dunes and then a bit more technical. That’s where we had to wake up and we were right there. Also nice scenery and some jumps. The car is going very well, no problems. So I can’t say other than that we are starting to get into it nicely and are starting to enjoy it.”
After two long days comes a third, the rally goes from Al Duwadimi to Al Salamiya over a test of 438 kilometers. It is the first part of the marathon stage, this one promising an interesting mix of surfaces. Passages with stones, but also with sand and dunes. After the finish, the teams are allowed 2 hours to work on the cars and then the Century CR6 goes into the parc fermé.
January 6th 2024: Dusty day for Tim and Tom in first stage, but the speed was good
The first stage of the Dakar Rally was a good one to start with for Tim and Tom Coronel. Because they had to start quite far back, they drove in a lot of dust. However, the pace was good, so that gives the brothers confidence for the rest of the rally. They finished in the dark, so the last hour had to rely entirely on navigation.
Along the way, Tim and Tom had a blowout. “It was a long straight where we were driving full throttle, about 170 kilometers per hour, and as we entered the stamping zone, we heard a puff. The rear tire had blown, quickly changed and we were back on. That blowout might have been my fault, the tires were at 1.6 bar and at the end they were actually 2.6,” Tom said.
Driving in the dark is always exciting, Tim thought, “It did make me think again, why does it have to be dark? You always have a little fear in the dark in the desert. But it was really great how Tom navigated through that. The cars behind us were constantly going the wrong way, but we weren’t so that was really cool. Actually it’s bizarre that Tom found the way, I would never have succeeded. But then again, that’s why he navigates.”
The Century CR6 held up well during the first stage. “The car felt good and nothing else was wrong,” Tom explained. “Day 1, been there, done that, ticked off!” The second stage goes from Al Henakiyah to Al Duwadimi of which the first 30 kilometers consist of dunes. It promises to be a long day with a test 463 kilometers long.
January 5th 2024: Minor navigation error in prologue costs Tim and Tom good starting position
The 2024 Dakar Rally has begun, after a prologue of 27 kilometers, the head is off for Tim and Tom Coronel. A small navigation error cost them about two minutes, but it also meant that they have to start a little further back than they actually hoped. Otherwise, the test went fine and Tim and Tom had everything under control.
After about 22 kilometers, Tom overlooked a note. “We were supposed to turn left right after a waypoint, but so I didn’t see it in the roadbook. I told Tim we had to go straight on for a kilometer and there I said something was wrong. So we figured it out pretty quickly, but it’s a shame on such a short trial. We lost, I think, a good two minutes with that. That’s not important for the standings, but it is important for tomorrow’s starting position.”
This is because the result of the prologue does not count for the classification in the Dakar Rally, but only determines the starting order of the first stage. Otherwise, Tom was satisfied. “The car didn’t budge and felt very good. The tire management, driving and everything mechanically we just had full control.”
“Sorry,” begon Tim na de proloog. “Een foutje, we hadden iets scherper moeten zijn. Het was een mooie proef, heel vet. Lekker gelijk het zand en dat was lekker mul. We hadden een goede gang erin zitten en alles verliep super tot kilometer 22. Daar moesten we dus even terug, it is what it is. Als dat de Dakar is voor dit jaar, dan hebben we die maar vast gehad.”
Morgen staat de eerste etappe op het programma, die gaat van Al Ula naar Al Henakiyah. Het wordt een lange dag met 127 kilometer verbinding en 414 kilometer op snelheid. De proef zet direct de toon voor de rally en gaat door een gebied waar de Dakar nog niet eerder is geweest. De route slingert langs vulkanen door een palet van elke tint grijs.
January 4th 2024: Preparation: Dakar 2024 feels like coming home again for Tim and Tom Coronel
The last two days for Tim and Tom Coronel were dominated by the final preparations for the start of the Dakar Rally. The test with the Century CR6 went well and the inspections were also completed without any problems. Tomorrow the rally starts with a prologue and Tim and Tom want to be in good shape there.
During those first two days there was time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s for the Coronel Dakar Team. “Of course, we were already able to make some minor adjustments to the car. It really felt ridiculously good again and Tom was right back into it as well. So that really felt like coming home, because it felt very normal actually,” Tim said. “Now it’s just a matter of waiting, everything is nicely ready for tomorrow. The administrative and technical checks have also been done, which is always a bit exciting while you know it’s good.”
The vibe within the team is also good. “I only see smiles from the mechanics, but also from Michel and Thomas and of course from Tom. So I am very satisfied with what is here, with a lot of thanks to our relations. We are just standing here among the big factory teams and that feels very special.”
Tomorrow a short prologue is scheduled. Tom wants to go full steam ahead in the warm-up for the Dakar Rally: “It’s actually a kind of qualifying run, of 28 kilometers. So we will make the car as light as possible and make sure we are in good shape. The two days after that will be important and are long. Then you don’t want to be too far back, because you immediately lose a lot of time. So we are going for it and we are really looking forward to it. We want both cars to finish.”