Dakar 2021: Stage 1 - The Beast stays out of trouble
The first stage of Dakar 2021 was carnage; the Coronel brothers watched cars roll around them with damage, punctures and other ailments. The brothers opted to slip neatly through the busy opening stage, making no mistakes, staying out of trouble and keeping The Beast as safe as possible.
Without pushing The Beast very hard, opting for the 'marathon' attitude, Team Coronel arrived at the finish of the 277km stage in P39, just forty-five minutes behind stage winner and Spanish racing legend Carlos Sainz.
The team felt there could have been some improvements, but have also commented that had they not been careful, the opening stage could have been much worse:
"I got out of the car twice to film," commented Tom. "For example, we stood with Erik van Loon for a while, who had suffered a lot of damage by hitting a rock."
The misery of others was a warning to Messrs Coronel.
"We had to join the pack for a while, but that was perhaps a good thing," said Tim. "There were many cars in trouble. For example, knowing that, we didn't try to overtake a few cars in front of us, although they held us up a bit. We took it fairly easy and only at the end did I put my foot down."
They dared to take that risk, according to Tom.
"The temperatures remained good. We didn't have a flat tire. We didn't make mistakes. Nothing. So the pace could be increased a bit, with the harbour in sight. Such a first day gives us confidence. We are ready to attack. We simply crawl forward, pay attention."