Curitiba: SEAT Team Holland preview

Tom Coronel to show his teeth in WTCC The SEAT Leon that Tom Coronel will drive to start his FIA World Touring Car Championship campaign in Brazil this weekend is fitted with a suitable livery. The shark teeth at the front of the orange SEAT ...

Tom Coronel to show his teeth in WTCC

The SEAT Leon that Tom Coronel will drive to start his FIA World Touring Car Championship campaign in Brazil this weekend is fitted with a suitable livery. The shark teeth at the front of the orange SEAT Team Holland car show that it will be a serious contender this year.

Also driver Tom Coronel is ready to fight in the 22 races of the championship. After winning the Yokahama Independents Trophy in dominating style the organisation decided that Tom is no longer eligible for the privateers championship. A nice compliment for the Dutchman, although he has some reservations. "The last few years I was always calculating my position in the privateer battle while I was often in a fight among works drivers. I really wanted to win the title. Because of this I often had to move out of the battle for the overall positions. This certainly cost me some good classifications. Bringing the car home and still pick up the maximum points for the Independents Trophy was more important at that stage. Of course as a driver you are not always happy with this situation, but in the end we got a good compensation by winning the Yokohama Independents Trophy, the world championship for privateers", Tom Coronel said.

This year Tom and GR-Asia, the team led by Paul Ridgway that prepares the car for SEAT Team Holland, will be out for podium finishes. "It is a great challenge, but certainly not an easy one. We showed in Macau that we can keep up with the best. However a given status of semi works team does not give you a works team budget. SEAT Sport already promised their full support though. Jaime Puig, the team manager of SEAT Sport always followed our progress in the Independents battle closely and was always ready to support us. The big advantage of our team is that we can act very efficiently and effectively as we are relatively small. Above this will be my third year with GR-Asia, so we know each other quite well", Tom Coronel said.

Tom Coronel will be partnered by Emmet 'O Brien in the GR-Asia team. The Irishman will drive the car that Tom used last year. 'O Brien will be elegible for the Independents Trophy and should be one of the favourites. "Last year he drove my car to a second place in the European Touring Car Cup before I got it back for Macau, so he is certainly a man to watch in the Independents Trophy", Tom said.

A major boost for Tom Coronel and SEAT Team Holland was the announcement that the second round of the championship will take place in the Netherlands at Zandvoort. Both for SEAT and for Tom Coronel it will be some extra pressure, but it will be well worth it. "I am really excited with this. Of course I know the track well and I have some great memories there. Also for the people behind the scenes at Zandvoort that made this race possible it is a well deserved reward. I know they have been working flat out to get this deal done. Unfortunately we were not able to test here earlier this month, but the SEAT Sport works team was there and according to them the track seems to suit the Leon quite well", Tom Coronel said

This weekend the SEAT Team Holland Leon of Tom Coronel will carry some extra promotion for the Dutch event that will take place at 6 May. "I hope the dunes will again be covered with spectators. This year it will be ten years ago since I won the Masters of Formula 3 race and I will do everything to give them the same entertainment again as back then. Whatever it will be the FIA WTCC is always full of excitement. Watch it this weekend!", Tom Coronel concluded.

-credit: sth

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