Tom Coronel's WTCC season starts in Curitiba

Curitiba, March 5, 2010 - The 2010 season in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) starts this weekend. As usual, the Brazilian city of Curitiba is the venue for the two races at the season opener. Here, Tom Coronel will have its first competitive outing with the SEAT Leon TDI, the diesel-powered touring car that won the title in the past two years. "I already did a couple of laps with a test car at Valencia a fortnight ago, but now, it is for real," says Coronel, who is really looking forward to the season opener. "I always like Curitiba. The circuit suits me, the atmosphere is good and finally, the season gets underway again."

People who happened to be walking down the Ruas das Flores, one of the busy shopping streets in the city centre of Curitiba, on Thursday morning were quite surprised to find a SEAT Leon TDI race car sporting the colours of McGregor and TW Steel, and in the pedestrian zone nonetheless! Indeed, Tom Coronel's new race car was present during the official autograph session in the city centre in front of the local main office of the bank that is sponsoring this weekend's race. The SEAT turned out to be a real crowd- puller and Tom Coronel had to sign countless autographs. "People are really excited about the race," he noticed. "On top of that, access is free when people donate at least two kilograms of food which will be distributed to people in need afterwards. A very nice initiative that already attracted a good crowd here in previous years."

In the afternoon, there was an official reception for the WTCC drivers at the elegant Awake Concept Club, where the drivers were welcomed by Beto Richa, the mayor of the city of Curitiba. On Friday, engines will be started for the first time this season. In a test session, teams and drivers can check the handling of the cars after the transport by ship or by airplane. On Saturday, there will be two free practice sessions and qualifying, while the two races will be run on Sunday at 15.35 and 16.50 local time (19.35 and 20.50 CET). The races will be broadcast live on Eurosport.

-source: tom coronel