The Century didn’t budge, but the tire did. At 50 kilometers before the finish of the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally 2023, Tim and Tom Coronel went a little too enthusiastically through a bend in the sand. As a result, the tire popped off the rim. “We wanted a little too much and there was a limit there,” he said. Nine times out of ten it goes well, this time it didn’t. It wasn’t a disaster, it cost three minutes. Peanuts in a race like the Dakar Rally. Tim and Tom haven’t found the real limit yet. The car didn’t give up even in this long (425 kilometers) and – due to yesterday’s rain – tough stage.
“We were really comfortable, had a good rhythm and super keen on navigating at those high speeds”
Tom Coronel – Dakar (Co-) Driver
“It was very heavy sand and a lot of bouncing for the first 200 kilometers,” Tom recounted at the finish near Ha’il. “A few times we didn’t come up against a dune, that’s how heavy the sand was. That’s a shame and we lost some time there.”
The sand was so heavy that it took a lot of power and thus fuel. At the neutralization at 211 kilometers it turned out that the Century had already consumed almost 200 liters of fuel. “I was worried about that for a while,” Tim says, “but Tom reassured me: the roadbook showed that there were mainly fast sections to come. That’s less hard work for the car.”
On the fast sections, Tom in particular was very appreciative. “We were really comfortable, had a good rhythm and super keen on navigating at those high speeds. We didn’t have to back off the gas to search or look extra. That went really well.”
Tim and Tom arrived at the line as the seventeenth car, which was good for the nineteenth time, 44 minutes from stage winner Sébastien Loeb. The fifth stage is also near Ha’il, but on the other side. It features a 374-kilometer special.