The fifth stage of the Dakar 2021 was certainly not a piss, not even for Tim and Tom Coronel. Despite a series of small problems, the twins crept into the top 30 of the general classification. In the daily result they were the best Dutchmen with the 34th time, 24 seconds ahead of Erik van Loon.

At first glance, the 456 km stage was a somewhat lesser day for the Coronel brothers, who decided to change places precisely for this pretty serious stage: Tom at the wheel, Tim with the roadbook in hand. That took some getting used to for both. Tim: “In the beginning there was a lot of difficult navigation work. I almost couldn’t keep up. We have been wrong a few times, but we have also quickly found the right path every time. ”

Tom: “I had a great time. I had not driven this Dakar yet and I do not know the car as well as Tim in that respect, but I even drove a bit in the dunes. Until we got stuck. Then I gave it back to Tim. ”

The dunes were not the easiest (Tim: “Very special, soft dunes”) but what made it even more difficult was that the gas from The Beast stuck. “Already from about ten kilometers,” says Tom. “That was really not nice, because it turns high revs and shifting is also not good. In the last stretch of dunes, we could only use second gear, because upshifts or downshifts were impossible. As a result, Tim also got stuck again, on one of the last dunes. The pneumatic jack also got stuck there, so yes: I’m glad we’re here. And certainly also that we will be there before dark. ”

The stage to Al Qaisumah is so long and difficult that the organization decided in advance to close the test at 6 p.m. local time for motorcycles from the refueling stop at 330 km. Cars and trucks that do not reach the finish before midnight have to spend the night there in an improvised bivouac. That was not the case for Tim and Tom. They could continue to the bivouac 268 km away, where The Beast gets its daily nightly maintenance.

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