Tim and Tom conquer the Empty Quarter

After two days in the dunes of the Empty Quarter, Tim and Tom Coronel are happy to have reached the finish. The 48h chrono proved to be a real challenge in which man and machine were put to the test. The first day went well for the brothers, but during the second day they experienced some issues. They got stuck a few times and during the last time the Century CR6’s starter stopped working, which took time. Then Tim and Tom decided to take it a little easier to avoid problems and finish. They won against the dunes in the Empty Quarter.




On the very first dune of this long stage, it turned out that Tim and Tom were well prepared. “We receive advice regarding tire pressure, but it was already too high for the first dune. Fortunately, we had programmed a lower one and with it we drove up the dune effortlessly. During that first day we were constantly amazed at what we could do with the car,” Tom said.


Navigation was not a problem, but they did miss a waypoint during that first leg. “We really missed that by 10 meters. It was a very high dune and he was on the top, I thought the system would pick him up, but not quite. When we got to the bottom, we also saw that we couldn’t go up from the other side. So only a 15-minute penalty, but other than that it went well.”



Once in the bivouac it was quiet, Tim saw: “There were only a handful of bikes and cars in that bivouac. We got some food, sat around the campfire for a while and then went to sleep. We continued again this morning, but it was really tough. We started well but got stuck twice and then had to use the jacks to get free. That took some time.”


The third time they got stuck took a little longer, Tim and Tom ended up in a small dip between the dunes and the engine stopped. “And then the starter didn’t work, so the jacks didn’t work either. We couldn’t do anything. We stood there for about an hour before anyone came by to give us a tow. We eventually received this from Hennie de Klerk, a South African who we also helped last year. But we had to go back 400 meters to collect all the bodywork and put it on the car.”


Then Tim and Tom decided not to take any risks and drive towards the finish. “That was with my buttocks squeezed together for a while,” says Tom. “There were few cars around us, so if the engine stopped, we would have to wait a long time again. So we wanted to get to the finish, and we succeeded. Wow, what a two days these were. We conquered the Empty Quarter.”



Tim was also happy to be at the finish: “I was so happy to see asphalt again. Those dunes were so high and soft, really bizarre. Sometimes we had to drive around a dune or take another turn to get over it. It was an exciting ride, but I’m glad we got out. Now let’s go to the bivouac and take a shower and freshen up, we have earned that.”


The rest day is planned for Riyadh tomorrow, so the team still has a few kilometers to drive before they get there. In Riyadh the car will be completely checked and everything will be prepared for the remainder of the rally.