PISCO – The final bits are the hardest. That became apparent once again on the ninth stage of the 2019 Dakar Rally. Tim and Tim Coronel endured a difficult end of the final serious stage of the marathon rally, but still made it to the finish with a well-worn car just before darkness fell.
For a long time, it was plain sailing for the twins. Tom navigated around all the potential hazards, Tim drove smoothly and nicely through the high dunes. However, 60 kilometres before the finish, disaster still threatened to strike. With assistance from a local and with plenty of determination, they still made it into the bivouac.
Tom explains what happened: “This was just unbelievable. We were really doing well until 60 kilometres before the end. I don’t know what happened then, but after that, it was nothing but disaster. The jacks didn’t work anymore, we went the wrong way, we were making mistakes, Tim drove into a huge gap… That is how we massively damaged the suspension. It didn’t look good at all.”
After a quick consult and some help from locals to repair the broken battery, the decision was made. Tim commented: “Eventually, we said: ‘Forget it, we are not going to repair the suspension’. The battery was working again, so we drove off again with our front suspension that was totally bent. A good call, because we made it into the bivouac just before darkness. Ten minutes later, it was pitch black. We really were lucky there!”
The final stage of the 2019 Dakar Rally is taking place on Thursday. Competitors have to deal with a special of 112 kilometres before the party can start with the finish in Lima.