PHASE 9: TIM AND TOM HAPPEN DUST IN THE MOUNTAINS
The ninth stage of the Dakar 2021 was not very pleasant. The route took Tim and Tom Coronel into the mountains, through valleys and over winding, rocky paths, making it “bumpy bump and dust bite” for nearly 465 kilometers. By driving smartly and above all by remaining patient, they managed to take another 25th place and won two more places in the standings.
“It was really such a day when you could only make mistakes,” Tim said at the finish in Neom, where the stage had also started. “Because you drive in the dust all day, you have to take risks that you really don’t want to take. Those who want too much will get the lid on their noses. ”
It turned out, because it was a nice battlefield with the engines, cars and trucks, with crashes, flat tires and a lot of other damage. Tim and Tom brought The Beast to the finish almost unscathed. The only problem with the car was a again refusing tire pressure system, this time on the right rear. “But we already knew that at the start, so we disconnected it,” said Tom. “We set the tires to a medium pressure that allowed us to drive through both sand and stones, if careful. I shouted “Caution!” In all left turns, “Gas!” In all right turns. It was a small handicap, but we managed that well. ”
It was not possible to really speed up and maybe that was a good thing. In the valleys that the participants crossed, the dust lingered for a long time. Tim: “I noticed that others could drive towards us, but also had to give up. At one point we were behind two trucks and a car and actually had nowhere to go. ” Tom: “In a narrow canyon where a car could just pass, we drove in the dust and with the sun right on the windshield. We had to drive 30 there where we normally could do 160. ”In areas with less dust, it came down to navigation. The fact that the brothers have now crawled forward nicely makes navigation more complicated. “There are fewer tracks, so we can no longer just follow the tracks on sight,” noted Tom. “Then you really have to navigate yourself. That was difficult in the dust, but we didn’t miss a waypoint. Once I was just too late and we made a big jump. I didn’t say it to Tim at the time, but he was just in the road book. I just hadn’t seen it in time. ”
Not only today, but also in the coming days it is important to be patient and not make mistakes. The differences in the rankings are small – 3 minutes to 24th place, only 2 minutes to 26th place – and Tim and Tom realize that they can only win places through mistakes made by others. “And a mistake is easily made”, Tom knows. “We have to avoid that by driving smart and staying calm. There is still a lot to come in the coming days, so we should not be tempted into thinking that we are almost there. ”