Monza, – Racing driver Tom Coronel had different expectations from the start of the ninth season of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC).
At a rain-soaked track of Monza in Italy, the 40-year old Dutch driver scored a ninth and an eleventh place after he only had achieved a 14th place on the starting grid for both races in qualifying with his BMW 320 TC of the Italian ROAL Motorsport team.
In the 2013 World Championship standings, Tom Coronel is currently twelfth with two points.
However, the situation wasn’t quite clear, because the heavy rain in the two races was the reason that the front-wheel driven cars did better here.
They manage to get the tyres to the right temperature more quickly, which is more difficult for rear-wheel driven cars, particularly because it wasn’t really warm outside.
Moreover, visibility was poor and we were constantly driving in the spray of the drivers in front of us. It is nice to see that we were the fastest BMW in the first race.
Nevertheless, I decided to significantly change the set-up between the two races. That helped and I was one and a half seconds faster, but more than eleventh place as the second-best BMW was beyond reach in that race.”
“My starting grid position wasn’t optimal either. In first qualifying, I locked up and couldn’t use the best of my tyres. At my second attempt, the red flag was out quickly, so it was all or nothing in my final outing.
At a circuit like Monza, you need a slipstream, otherwise you are tenths of seconds down on the others. I thought I had found that slipstream from James Nash, but he pulled into the pits when I started my lap.
Thus, I couldn’t do any better and I didn’t even make it into the top-12 qualifying session. The starts of the races wee good and I was able to make up a few positions, but I lacked straight-line speed.
We surely have some work to do, but we also know that we are allowed to use two carbonfibre doors after two rounds, which in itself saves us 20 kilograms of weight, and every little bit counts. Now, we are heading for Morocco with full confidence!”