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Tom Coronel to tackle 2016 Dakar Rally

Tom CoronelWorld Touring Car Championship (WTCC) fan favourite Tom Coronel has announced plans to tackle the Dakar Rally for the second successive year, joining his twin brother Tim in the famous endurance event.

Tom had firmly stated that he would never compete solo in the event again in 2015, his second time competing in the event following a maiden appearance in 2009. However with some persuasion from his twin brother Tim, the tin top star has once again agreed to compete in the legendary off-road race.

“This was once, but never again,” insisted Tom in 2009, his first year in the event. “But when your brother tells that he has built a second buggy again, the feeling returns and eventually, I said yes. Especially as I have received a lot of positive feedback about the TV reports that gave an insight into the Dakar Rally.

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“Such footage is impossible to produce from the outside and the stories of Dutch competitors that got stuck really touched the spectators. Together with RTL GP, I will bring again unforgettable images into the living rooms in The Netherlands, there is no doubt about that. Moreover, I am proud that RTL7 has made a documentary about my adventure and that of the other competitors.”

Coronel’s experiences were all captured on camera for the Dutch viewer; although Tom admits even he doesn’t know why he continued to persevere, given the extreme challenges.

“It was never planned to make this documentary,” added Tom. “In fact, I don’t even know why I kept filming myself!”

Whereas Tom took some convincing, for twin brother Tim there was no need. The Dutchman has won the solo classification three times in a row between 2010 and 2012, and is now hunting for a fourth trophy to add to his collection.

“For me, the Dakar Rally lasts twelve months a year,” said Tim, who will compete in a self-built buggy under the Maxxis Dakarteam by SuperB team name. “After the finish in January, there was only little time to relax and regenerate, because then we already started preparations for next year.

“We have analysed the aspects that weren’t good from a technical point of view or that could be improved, after which the buggy was completely rebuilt.

“For most people, it may not look very different, but, believe me, many things have changed. The windscreen has been removed to enhance visibility, especially after river crossings and mud baths. The wiring is now totally waterproof and an additional alternator has been installed into the buggy. The rear of the chassis has been strengthened further and suspension travel has been increased. Together with the ride height, increased by no less than five centimetres, this results into better handling, allowing me to drive faster off-road.

“In spite of the adaptations, the weight has been reduced by no less than 30 kilograms, and less weight means more speed.

“It is our goal to make it to the finish with both buggies. I will go for a good classification, with first place in the solo class as the ultimate goal, while Tom will be covering the rally from within with his TomCam and will be searching for Dutch competitors who have run into trouble.”

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