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 at 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 great how Tom navigated through that. The cars behind us were constantly going the wrong way, but we weren’t so that was 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 stage of 463 kilometers long.