Curitiba: Tom Coronel preview

2009 FIA WTCC season to kick of in Brazil This weekend the new season of the FIA World Touring Car Championship will start at Curitiba in Brazil. This championship is the top class in touring car racing in which Tom Coronel scored had a ...

2009 FIA WTCC season to kick of in Brazil

This weekend the new season of the FIA World Touring Car Championship will start at Curitiba in Brazil. This championship is the top class in touring car racing in which Tom Coronel scored had a sensational first win in Japan last year. On the eve of the new season the adrenalin starts pumping quicker and quicker for the Dutch driver. "I am ready to start racing again in this great championship. We will enter our fifth year with SEAT, which is quite unique. You don't always see two parties working together for such a long period. This surely indicates that the cooperation is working out well for both sides", Tom Coronel said.

SEAT Holland continues to rely on the services of the Spanish SunRed team for the technical preparation of the car. "The team is situated nearby the SEAT factory in Martorell. There is close contact between SunRed and SEAT Sport. In the past SunRed often helped out SEAT with trying out new developments", Coronel said. Last year SunRed made it's debut in the WTCC and needed some time to optimize the car. Also Tom and the SunRed engineers needed some time to get used to each other. "In the past I mostly worked with English and Dutch engineers. This team is 100% Spanish. The races and qualifying sessions are relatively short and quite hectic. Sometimes you have to make a split second decision so it's important to have blind faith in each other", Coronel commented.

This year Tom will continue to race a SEAT Leon TFSi, a petrol engined car, while the works outfit SEAT Sport is using turbocharged diesel engines. Tom Coronel does not see this as a disadvantage. "The regulations have been changed, so it is unclear how much of an advantage the diesel cars have. The maximum turbo pressure has been lowered and the weight handicap regulations have been changed. Now the extra weight will be handed out per car in stead of per driver. So if Muller and Tarquini do well for SEAT Sport not only they will get extra weight, but also the other drivers of the team. As we have a different car our weight is judged separately".

SunRed will enter three cars in the FIA WTCC this year. Besides Tom Coronel also British driver Tom Boardman will drive all of the championship races. The third SunRed SEAT Leon will be driven by different drivers from the race in Marrakech on. Winners of the SEAT Leon EuroCup races will be offered a prize drive in the third WTCC Leon. The SEAT Leon Eurocup will be held as a support race for the WTCC races during six European events. Tom Coronel will also be involved in the series. He will act as a mentor for Dutch TV presenter Rob Kamphues, who will drive a car entered by SEAT Team Holland. SunRed will take care of the technical preparation. Furthermore also Tim Coronel is likely to do a full season in the SEAT Leon Eurocup. Tom's twin brother already did one race in the Eurocup last year. Recently he tested an Eurocup Leon and promptly set the fastest time of the day amidst experienced Eurocup runners.

The races of the FIA WTCC and SEAT Leon Eurocup will be shown extensively in RTL GP's WTCC magazine. Reporter Rick Winkelman and camera operator Erik van Meegen will travel to all of the races to make exclusive reports and interviews. Next Sunday at 14:55 there will be a preview show on RTL7. The WTCC preview will be repeated on 14 March on 14:30. The first WTCC magazine with all the action from Curitiba will be broadcasted on 15 March at 15:30. There will be repeats on 28 March at 8:10 and 14:15. Of course everything can also be seen on the RTL GP website. on this site there will also be short reports after each day of qualifying and racing during the WTCC weekends. Live pictures of qualifying and all of the races will be shown on Eurosport TV and on the FIA WTCC official website.

-credit: tc

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Series WTCC