SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel grabs first point in WTCC opening round The first of twelve rounds of the FIA World Touring Car Championship took place at Curitiba last weekend. For SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel it was the start of...
SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel grabs first point in WTCC opening round
The first of twelve rounds of the FIA World Touring Car Championship took place at Curitiba last weekend. For SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel it was the start of his fourth season in this class, in which he will compete with a SEAT Leon TFSi prepared by the Spanish SunRed team. Supported by his loyal sponsors the Dutchman made the move to SunRed Racing, which is located nearby the official SEAT Sport works team. The race was preceded by two free practice session, where Tom set the fastest time in one of them. Qualifying practice would bring him a 10th fastest time in a a close fought battle with the top 14 within one second. Initially Tom Coronel ended his first race in ninth position, but after Jordi Gene was penalized for an action on Alain Menu, Coronel moved up a place and got pole position for race two. This position did not bring him the result he had hoped for. Soon he started to lose ground and dropped back to ninth, which he would keep until the chequered flag.
Coronel is enthusiastic after his first weekend of the new season "Of course it is exciting. I drove the same car I drove last year, but it was prepared by another team. This year we moved to SunRed, and I must say I am impressed by the team. I saw most of the team members for the first time on Thursday before the race. Not everybody was speaking English, and among each other they spoke Spanish. It is something that I have to get used to, but the team has definitely a lot of potential. Not only did the car look very well in its new colours, it also felt well on the track. The car was revised on several points and it took some time to get used to it again. I was just glad to be back out in the car and to see everybody again after the winter break. From the first session on it went well and the times were OK. Sometimes I stayed out a bit longer on old tyres, just to see what it would do with the handling of the car. When I changed to fresh rubber I immediately improved my laptimes.
"What you can see is how close the competition is in the WTCC. In qualifying I got a good slipstream from one of the other SEATs, but it did not bring me any further than tenth place. With 14 drivers within one second you can't expect much more than that. The first rolling start went well for me . I wanted to move to the inside of the corner, which worked out well. Later on the two Chevies took each other out just in front of me, so I moved up two places. Then Priaulx and Porteiro came by, which brought me in ninth place in the end. This was changed to eight by the stewards, so I was on pole for race two. I had a good start, but I lacked some speed on the straight. Slowly I dropped back to ninth place again. With this car we lack the torque that the diesel Leons have and also the BMWs have some more straight line speed, so we are just lacking that extra bit of speed. All in all I am quite satisfied with the first two races of the new year. There is a lot more to come and we have a full season ahead of us", Tom Coronel said