Oschersleben, September 19, 2004 - Two weeks after the races in Monza (Italy) the Carly Motors team stopped in Oschersleben (Germany) for the 17th and 18th round of the European Touringcar Championship. This weekend, the 2003 Independent Champion...
Oschersleben, September 19, 2004 - Two weeks after the races in Monza (Italy) the Carly Motors team stopped in Oschersleben (Germany) for the 17th and 18th round of the European Touringcar Championship. This weekend, the 2003 Independent Champion Duncan Huisman, is teamed up with the Dutch Carly Motors team. During the qualification session on Saturday Huisman took the 10th position on the grid, just before Coronel who was 11th, and second independent driver. In race one already, Tom won the independents championship by finishing first in the class and Balzan retiring from the race.
The 17th and 18th rounds of the FIA European Touring Car Championship on the twisty German track were expected to favor the BMW drivers. The Oschersleben Motopark suits the 320i cars extremely well, as proved by the fact that they have won all four FIA ETCC rounds held there so far: two wins for Dirk Muller in 2002, one apiece for Jorg Muller and Priaulx in 2003. With the title battle closer than ever, and four drivers - Dirk Muller, Gabriele Tarquini, Jorg Muller and Andy Priaulx - still with excellent hopes of winning - the end of the season promised to be thrilling.
For Tom Coronel the calculating has started as he would like to become independents Champion here in Oschersleben. "I would like to secure the title here in Germany. We have raced here before and the track suits the BMW quite well. The Dubai circuit is new and we don't know what to expect there. It would be great to become champion here already" said Tom who sees old time team mate Duncan Huisman back on his side to team up and keep the championship in the team. "Of course I am very happy to be back at the wheel of a Carly Motors BMW and race in the ETCC again. If there is a possibility to help Tom, of course I will." Said Duncan who said to feel like coming home with the ETCC.
The qualification session, which was held on a dry track, was both exiting and satisfying for the team. Duncan, who put his BMW 320i on a 10th position and 3rd BMW in the field sees some nice perspectives for the race after the qualifying session: "10th doesn't seem to be very good, but I'm third BMW. With a 10th position there is a chance to finish 8th and start from pole in the second race. For Tom, it is important to score as many points as possible for the Independents Trophy. "I am just behind my team mate Duncan so I am not too worried for that, but to catch Tavano, who is starting race 1 from an 8th position will not be an easy job." Said Tom just after qualifying.
The goal for both Carly motors drivers was simple. Tom becoming Independents Champion, Duncan, being a helpful team-mate for all BMW's in the field. And both drivers wanted to finish at least 7th and 8th in race one, so there would be an all Carly Motors front row at the start of race 2. But not all of that became reality. Tom got his championship and finished 8th, while Duncan finished 10th and starting on the grid of race 2 accordingly.
Duncan: "My start was not so good and lost two positions. Tavano, who was in front of me blocked me heavily and It took me some time to pass him. I couldn't keep up with the pace of the rest of the field. Rydell, who was behind me was pushing quite hard and even clashed some times with me when he could pass me at the inside. While Rydell started a fight with Tom in front of me, I lifted the gas a little so if Rydell would catch Tom, he would be able to keep up with him. In that situation Garcia got on my back and started to push heavily. At the last corner before the straight, he touched me and passed me. I was 11th in the first race, but became 10th while Giovanardi got a drive-through penalty but didn't went through the pitlane during the race. He got a penalty of 30 seconds.
Tom: I had a great start and it was actually better than it seemed to be on first sight. I had a clear track in front of me and had one thing on my mind: collecting as many points as possible for the independents Championship, so I was very careful. In front of me Gene was fighting with Thompson, and I just couldn't get passed them, and I didn't want to take the risk. When Rydell overtook Duncan I saw him coming and decided not to fight with him, avoiding any risk.
In race two, Tom Coronel started from pole position since the first 8 finishing positions are being reversed on the grid of the second race. Duncan, who finished 10th started from P10.
Duncan: "At the start, that was slightly better than the first start, I got a clash from Farfus and lost two positions. I made a shifting mistake going back from 4th gear into one instead of three. I spun and had to continue the race from the back of the field. I expected a little bit more from this weekend but I hope that my appearance here was helpful for Tom and the other BMW's in the field.
Tom: "I had a normal, good start from pole and went first into the first corner. In the laps following I let Dirk and Jorg pass me when I got into a fight with Garcia. Finally, now that the independents championship was save, I could really race the way I like it. When we went into the corner side by side, I braked a little later and I expected him to come back but I suddenly lost him. Then I could get at the tail of Thompson and cached him at his weakest point: While breaking!" I won the independents race two times and I look back at a very nice and successful weekend with the Carly motors Team."