It went super well for five days, but the sixth stage of the Dakar Rally 2023 was an off-day for Tim and Tom Coronel. The day was messy from the start, with a shortened stage and long liaisons before and after the special stage. “Today was not our best day. They happen now and then.”
The 31st time is not what we are used to from the Coronel brothers. Until 60 kilometres before the finish of the 357 kilometre long special stage, it went relatively well and they were on course for 22nd place, which suits them better. After a neutralized section of about 65 kilometres the situation changed. “The beginning went pretty well,” says Tom. “After the neutralization it became messy and chaotic. We got a puncture on the front right. We changed the tire, but 3 kilometres later the new one was also flat. In the end we crossed the finish line with three punctures. There must have been an error in the deflation system, because after the finish we pumped them up and we were able to drive normally.”
The hassle with the tires and the air pressure system caused stress in the car and as a result a number of mistakes occurred. That cost the brothers about 20 minutes. After arrival at the bivouac they quickly found out a cable of the pressure system had come loose.
After the special, the participants had to travel 300 kilometres by road to Riyadh, because a bivouac in Al Duwadimi was not possible. Tomorrow they have to go back 288 kilometres, for the start of a stage of 330 kilometres. After that, the car can be serviced for two hours. After those two hours, the mechanics have to go back to Riyadh and the contestants go to Al Duwadimi where they spend the night with limited resources – a tent, toothbrush and clean underwear