Tom Coronel fourth at Macau with Carly Motors BMW After winning the privateers battle in the FIA European Touringcar Championship (ETCC) this year both Tom Coronel and Carly Motors BMW were focussed on the Guia Touringcar race at Macau. Winning...
Tom Coronel fourth at Macau with Carly Motors BMW
After winning the privateers battle in the FIA European Touringcar Championship (ETCC) this year both Tom Coronel and Carly Motors BMW were focussed on the Guia Touringcar race at Macau. Winning in this prestigious race weekend has been a target for Tom Coronel ever since he came here from his Formula 3 days. Tom competed twice in the Guia Touringcar race before, but on both occasions he failed to finish. Therefore taking the chequered flag was his main goal. Coronel was successful in his mission and even nearly made it to the podium that was dominated by factory backed teams from BMW and Seat. Fellow BMW driver Jörg Müller took the win while Andy Priaulx took second in his BMW and Rickard Rydell finished in third for Seat. Dutchman Tom Coronel finished in fourth place and was best of the privateers. Coronel's teammate was no less than three times Macau winner Duncan Huisman for this occasion. Huisman would have no chance to add another victory to his record tally as he suffered from several problems.
The tight and twisty streetcourse of Macau is demanding for man and machine. "The track is very tight on some places and the guardrails equal the edge of the track. There are no run-off areas, kerbstones or gravel traps. Each error you make will cost you dear. Duncan can tell you all about it. I was close behind him trying to catch a slipstream when he went off. Immediately the session was stopped, which also meant that I could not finish my fast lap. After that my tyres had had their best. Especially for Macau we changed to Yokohama tyres in an effort to make a difference to the factory outfits that were all using Michelins. We did some useful tests at Zandvoort which paid off as I was the fastest Yokohama runner with my fifth place in qualifying", Tom Coronel explains.
"The result of the first of the two races is actually just a decider for the gridpositions of race two. So no reverse grids to calculate on. I decided not to take too many risks. I was fighting Gene in the Seat and it was hard to pass him. The choice was simple. Defend my fifth place and make it to the finish. Right after the start of the second race I moved up to fourth. Jordi Gene in the factory Seat was now behind me. I was now not only defending my position, but also knocking on the door of his teammate Rickard Rydell. It was a very close battle, but in the end my tyres started to loose grip so I had to let him go. Fourth place was all we could get today", Tom Coronel concludes.
Tom Coronel will now head back to the Netherlands to add another episode to his career. The Dutch driver turns author as he wrote a guide to help starting racing drivers to set up and develop their motorsport career. The book will be called "Racing driver in 30 steps" and will be introduced at the motoring exhibition "Speed & Design" that will take place in Utrecht from 25 to 28 November.
Tom Coronel was supported in Macau by: McGregor, Autocentrum Beelen, BBS and Apex.