WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup race winner Tom Coronel will embark on a challenge of a different kind from today (January 3) when the Dakar Rally begins with the first of 12 gruelling stages across Saudi Arabia.

The annual cross-country showpiece covers a distance of 7646 kilometres with the final stage scheduled to finish in Jeddah on January 15.

Coronel, who won Race 2 at WTCR Race of Slovakia in October aboard a Goodyear-equipped Audi RS 3 LMS for Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport, is co-driving his twin brother Tim in their off-road vehicle, The Beast.

The Dutch siblings completed their final preparations on the 11-kilometre prologue stage near Jeddah yesterday.

“We haven’t been pushing,” said Tom Coronel, after he and Tim completed the stage in 7m14s. “You can only lose in such a prologue. Driving 20 seconds faster does not get you anywhere. We kept a close eye on the temperatures, but everything felt good.”

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