LIMA – Preparations are now finally done, the 2018 Dakar adventure can start! Fine-tuning has been completed and the brawny Jefferies Buggy passed the final checks without any issues. Tim and Tom Coronel can’t wait to start the 40th running of the Dakar Rally.
After their successful double finish in the 2017 event, this year has a new challenge in store for the Coronel brothers. Instead of driving their famous buggies solo in the rough South-American countryside, the twins are now sitting alongside each other in the brawny American buggy built by Damen Jefferies. Together, they hope to make it to the finish once more. The endurance test was a real exhausting affair for the brothers in previous years, but they want to enjoy it to the max in 2018.
Preparations went well and the final detail work was carried out by the team, assisted by Jefferies staff from the US, in Peru. ‘The Beast’ passed scrutineering and is now waiting in parc fermé for the start on Saturday afternoon local time.
‘Tim and Tom Gordon’
Tim will be taking on his eleventh Dakar Rally and got a privileged treatment during the final administrative checks. “I was allowed to take priority lane,” he laughed. “All the checks went quickly and without any probems, so now the party can really start. We were already jokingly referred to as ‘Tim and Tom Gordon, so our car really did make an impression! The fans are very enthusiastic again as well, always fantastic to see. For me, I am really eager to go, too. Being here at the start is something very special every year and taking on this advantage with my twin brother is making it even more special.”
Tom added: “Everything seems fine, we are full of confidence. The atmosphere within the team is quiet and relaxed. We are happy with the support from the Americans who know the car really well. We share the same passion, so we connected well from the outset. Being part of this again is great, the whole field is ready to get going. Everything is in place, the final details have been taken care of and we are good to go. The car is working well, we will be facing a very calm and nice start. To be honest, I have never experienced it in such a relaxed way.” Sharing the car together with his brother doesn’t mean any extra pressure: “What we did in the past years wasn’t very healthy. I wouldn’t wish to my biggest enemy what we had to endure. Being in the car together with my brother for 15 days will be tough as well. Sometimes we can be quite cruel to each other, but we are twins, so that ensures a special connection. That is something only twins will understand. At one time, we can be swearing and shouting at each other, but ten seconds later, everything is all right again, so I am sure we will be fine.”
The adventure is starting in earnest on Saturday with the first sand dunes awaiting. Tim says about the strategy: “I will start driving, Tom will take care of the navigation. We will be alternating in the cockpit every day. Whether that is allowed? Well, nobody will notice the difference anyway!”