A strong seventh place in the second race Tom Coronel best-placed Dutch driver in 2015 WTCC.
Paul Ricard – For Tom Coronel, the FIA WTCC meeting at Paul Ricard again was a weekend of survival. In the free practice sessions, things went well, but in qualifying, he was four hundredths of a second short of making it into the second session with his ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze. Thus, he wasn't able to secure a better starting grid position for the second race. Now, he had to start from 13th place for both races.
In the first race, he had a decent getaway and battled with a group of drivers for tenth to 13th place. He moved up into eleventh position and charged with everything he had for a top ten result. He just missed out on that and eventually also saw his eleventh place taken away by Rickard Rydell on the finish line.
The second race of the day was a more turbulent affair and there were huge fights for positions ahead of Coronel. Due to penalties and retirements for other drivers, the Dutchman soon found himself in the top ten and showed a strong performance. He overtook Lada driver Jaap van Lagen, he managed to stay ahead of team-mate Tom Chilton and after a very exciting battle in the closing stages, he finished seventh in the provisional results. In the FIA World Touring Car Championship drivers' standings, Coronel is currently twelfth with a total of 33 points.
"In free practice sessions and qualifying, we had to work hard to set a decent lap time," Coronel starts his report. "We didn't manage to end up further up the ranks. Eventually, I missed out on making it into the second session by only four hundredths of a second. That is the session in which the starting grid positions for the second race are determined, but unfortunately, I wasn't one of the drivers in that session. Too bad, because in 13th place on the grid for both races, I had to move up through the ranks twice. In the first race, I had no way to do so.
The car didn't run well, I had no grip and no acceleration. It was like driving on barbed wire. I fought for what I was worth and I even lost one more place to Rickard Rydell at the finish line. In between the two races, we have changed the settings of the car and that worked out well. In the second race, things were going much better. The tyres had more grip, the car had better throttle response and it was easier to battle with the drivers around me. I even overtook several drivers. Moreover, I had some luck with drivers in front of me, so that I was able to finish seventh."
"Now, we are staying here at Paul Ricard and tomorrow (Monday), we will be filming for RTL and our YouTube channel. For Tuesday, we have four sets of tyres for extensive test sessions. Actually, we have never really been able to do so last year and this year. We hope to complete the final fine-tuning for the rest of the season with this test. The next races take place at a street circuit in Portugal, which is new in the championship and new to me. Normally, I am doing quite well on street circuits and I hope that we can put in a good performance there with the test sessions we will be doing now," Coronel says.
Result Race 1
1. Sebastien Loeb 16 laps; 2. Yvan Muller +6.020; 3. José Maria López +7.147; 4. Ma Qing Hua +9.102 (all Citroën C-Elysée WTCC ); 5. Tom Chilton (ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) +12.638 and 12. Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) +31.822.
Result Race 2
1. José Maria López 16 laps (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC); 2. Norbert Michelisz (Honda Civic WTCC) +1,449; 3. Ma Qing Hua +2.156; 4. Yvan Muller +3.165 (both Citroën C-Elysée WTCC); 5. Gabriele Tarquini, (Honda Civic WTCC) +12.071 and 7. Tom Coronel, (ROAL Motorsport-Chevrolet-RML Cruze TC1) +16.681.