The Dakar Rally is one of the world’s toughest races. This year, starting Jan. 6, it will wind through an 11-day series of grueling off-road sprints through the deserts, mountain plateaus and windswept dunes of Peru.
Tim and Tom Coronel are tackling the challenge this year with their latest creation — The Beast, Part Two — and a significant bit of help from rugged ABB parts.
ABB-made Ty-Rap® cable ties will keep wiring and other critical parts lashed together through the rugged 5,000-km (3,100-mile) journey while Shrink-Kon® heat-shrink connectors keep the custom-made buggy’s electrical system humming despite hours of dust, heat and vibration. With, maybe, an occasional downpour.
The 2019 race will be the 12th Dakar for Tim and the third time he has shared the cockpit with Tom. The 46-year-old twins have relied on ABB parts to help see them through most of those tours and the alliance may deepen as they move on to new technologies because, as Tim Coronel notes, the art of building a Dakar-worthy machine goes beyond engineering. It takes a deep-seated dedication to quality and execution as well.
“ABB is a wonderful technology company. A company that has a future perspective and offers a product lineup that has many common interfaces with us,” Tim said.
The Beast, Part Two, is the brothers’ second iteration of a U.S.-built Jefferies dune buggy, powered by a 6.2-liter Chevrolet engine. The ABB cable ties, connectors and Harnessflex® wire harnesses the brothers used in their 2018 model worked flawlessly, but the buggy battled with problems caused by heat. To alleviate those issues, the Coronels have rebuilt the buggy’s exhaust system and replaced its metal body with a much-lighter synthetic fiber version made in their home country, The Netherlands.
They are using weather-resistant, UV-resistant Ty-Rap® cable ties and Shrink-Kon® adhesive-lined adapters to secure cables and electrical connections in their 2019 buggy. Harnessflex® fittings are expected to rejoin the mix in 2020.
The 2019 Dakar Rally will start and end in Lima, Peru, with 10 stages and only a single rest day. The course through the high Peruvian Andes is about 70 percent sand, a factor that adds to the technical challenge but particularly attracts Tim Coronel.
“Dunes?” he said on the brothers’ website. “Those aren’t dunes over there. They are mountains with dunes on them. To race The Beast over these dunes is a privilege for me.”
The Dakar Rally started in 1978 as an annual off-road race from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal. Political unrest in northern Africa caused it to move to South America in 2008, where it has been run every year since, often through several countries. This year’s route will be entirely inside the borders of Peru.
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