Never before have Tim and Tom Coronel performed so well in the Dakar Rally as they do now. In the last stage before the rest day, they finished in 22nd and are (for the time being) sixteenth in the general classification.
The sixth leg of the 2022 edition of the Dakar was another loop near Riyadh, but this time on the south side. Tim and Tom Coronel completed the 348 kilometres in 3 hours and 22 minutes, which was just 15 minutes 55 seconds longer than stage winner Orly Terranova.
“It was a very good stage”, said Tom Coronel after the finish. “The terrain was comparable to yesterday: very varied, with fast tracks, stones, along and through dry riverbeds and 40 kilometres of dunes at the end.”
The brothers were able to keep up a good pace with their Century. “Navigation went great, driving went great. Until the beginning of the dunes, with about 40 kilometres to go to the finish”, says Tom. “There we made a small jump from a dune and we had to drop the pace a bit, because Tim had hurt his back. We drove quietly after that.”
“We landed and I cricked my back,” says Tim after checking in with the medical service. “So bad, I couldn’t breathe. It hurt terribly. Fortunately, nothing appears to be torn or broken, and I can now breathe better.”
Despite finishing the last part at about 30 kilometers per hour, they lost little time compared to the competition and were able to head for the bivouac in Riyadh early in the afternoon. There the DesertLion gets a major overhaul on the rest day and Tim a series of massages to help his back. “We’ve never been in so early,” said Tom, somewhat surprised. “To be in such good position halfway through the rally – sixteenth in the standings – is a dream come true for us.” “We’re not going to let that go now,” said Tim. “We’re here now and we’re going to finish it.”