HUIZEN (26 November 2020) – In less than a week, #Beast347 4.0, the new competition car for Tim and Tom Coronel, will be shipped from France to Saudi Arabia for Dakar 2021, the 43rd running of the legendary off-road rally that will be held from 3-15 January. This evening, the online presentation of the new car took place, live from the team’s workshop in Huizen in The Netherlands. Based on the experience from the previous year, various aspects of the car have been improved while the livery has changed as well. That is the result of the cooperation with LKQ Fource, a major supplier in the automotive aftermarket segment, supporting the team of Tim and Tom Coronel.
“This year, we were in the special situation that no events were taking place due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Tim Coronel, who will be taking on his 13th Dakar event. “Our team members unanimously announced that they wanted to remain involved in the workshop, so we have them the full list with possible changes that we had put together based on our experience from last year. They worked on it every Tuesday and Thursday and thus, we were able to complete the entire list. We started in March and the engine was at the tuner’s on 9 May! We made very good use of the time we had available. With this intense preparation, we already have our first Dakar rally behind us while the real event still has to start!”
18 kilograms saved by lines
“One of the biggest changes is the arrangement with all the lines and reservoirs,” Tim Coronel explains. “So far, these reservoirs were placed behind the radiator, but all the fluids were warming up quite a lot as a result. Now, we put them in front of the radiator, which has several advantages, not only in terms of temperatures, but also for the centre of gravity of the car. Moreover, they are now inside the main cage, so that the reservoirs are better protected in case we roll the car, like we did last year. On top of that, all the fluid lines were dealt with, too, for which we got assistance from a professional partner. That alone helped us save 18 kilograms of weight, and that is without the fluids in the lines! We had enough time, so we literally put every part on a kitchen balance. I reckon that we have saved some 140 kilograms in total.”
The aerodynamics have been modified as well, particularly at the sides of the car. Tim Coronel: “Last year, we noticed during a sand storm that side winds had quite a big effect on the car. For that, we found a solution. The chassis has been shortened a bit at the rear as well. We also made some modifications to the engine to allow for a higher straight-line speed. Last year, we didn’t get beyond 165 km/h, but now, we can reach 183. In the interior, we have made everything mat black to prevent reflections from the sun, something that hampered us quite a bit last year.”
Tom Coronel: “I will be driving for half of the time, one thousand percent certain”
Another change is something that the twin brothers already announced a few times during the past years, but what never actually became reality. That is now going to change: “I will be driving for half of the time, one thousand percent certain,” says Tom Coronel, who will be participating for the seventh time. “Indeed, we have said it a few times before already, but I am always feeling quite comfortable whenever Tim is driving. Now, he has simply forced me to drive for half of the time. Yes, I admit that I am slightly nervous about that, especially driving in the sand. You know, the past year, I experienced everything together with Tim: I felt every movement, every bump. The only difference was that I didn’t have the steering wheel in my hands myself, but that will now finally change. We have both been entered as drivers. I think that is something unique, too: there is no other team that can do this. And, by the way, as we will both be wearing our ‘cheese helmets’, nobody can see who is actually driving anyway!”
Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic also has its effects on the upcoming Dakar event. “Upon arrival in Saudi Arabia, we first have to go into self-isolation for five days and we will be tested twice,” Tom Coronel says. “There are tests in between as well and we are strictly confined to the bivouac. Last year, we sometimes left for a quick ride, to check out the environment and discover some of the local culture, but all of that is now forbidden. Well, we will make the best of it, it is nice that we are able to race in the first place.”
LKQ Fource, Maxxis, Eurol, team members: “With a little help from our friends”
A project like the participation in the Dakar rally by the Coronel twins can’t be turned into reality without extensive support in various aspects. “Of course, Tom and I are in the limelight, but we would never have been able to drive had it not been for our strong partners and team members,” Tim Coronel emphasizes. “We are particularly delighted with LKQ Fource, one of the biggest suppliers in the automotive aftermarket segment as a new partner in our project. That is also visible in the livery of our car. Maxxis obviously remains on board as our tyre partner. Eurol will be launching a line of racing fluids in February, to the development of which we have contributed significantly by our participation in Dakar and Tom’s involvement in WTCR. We are also thankful for the support from numerous other partners. And last but not least from the members of our team, a total of 14 people including two young mechanics who are in their apprenticeship with us. We will be travelling to Saudi Arabia for the rally with nine people, we are really looking forward to it!”
From 3-15 January 2021, the Dakar rally will be held in Saudi Arabia for the second consecutive year as part of a multi-year agreement between the country and Amaury Sport Organisation as the promoter of the event. Like in previous years, Tim and Tom Coronel’s achievements during the Dakar rally will be covered in detail in the daily broadcasts on Dutch TV station RTL7.