Imola: Tom Coronel weekend summary

SEAT-DRIVER TOM CORONEL WITHOUT POINTS IN FIA-WTCC RACES AT IMOLA The Italian track with the illustrious name Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari at Imola set the stage for the 17th and 18th round of the FIA WTCC 2008. After his solid podium score in...

SEAT-DRIVER TOM CORONEL WITHOUT POINTS IN FIA-WTCC RACES AT IMOLA

The Italian track with the illustrious name Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari at Imola set the stage for the 17th and 18th round of the FIA WTCC 2008. After his solid podium score in the last round at Oschersleben the SEAT Team Holland driver hoped to bring home some more championship points. The handling of his SEAT Leon TFSi, prepared by the Spanish SunRed team was good, but with 39kg of handicap weight and some problems with the driveline of the car he could only manage 19th place in qualifying. In the first race Tom Coronel had a good run and climbed up to 15th place, but he did not manage to improve further in the second race.

"For me it was a weekend to forget quickly", the Dutch driver said. "After the highlight of Oschersleben this was an absolute low. There are some explanations for it. First of all the extra handicap weight that I earned by finishing second in the last race. At this level you can really notice the difference in performance, especially on a track like this where you need the torque out of the slow corners and uphill. Furthermore I had a coming together with Nicola Larini. He ruined my qualifying lap in a rather unprofessional way. This had a big influence on my adrenaline level especially as it was not the first time we met on the track like this. So I went to see him afterwards and gave him my vision of the story. This was not the smartest thing to do as I was fined with 500 Euro by the FIA afterwards.

In the first race I started from nineteenth place. There were some good exciting fights and I managed to climb up to 15th place. That was all I could do as towards the end the dockrings in the gearbox had failed. That caused problems during the downshift as the car is not braking on the engine. Therefore I had to use the brakes heavier, which made the car less easy to drive. I finished the race in 15th place. Between the races I saw a small miracle being realized in before my very eyes. The SunRed crew managed to replace the complete gearbox during the 15 minute repair time for the second race. Really a superb job! I had a perfect car again for the second race of the day. I immediately took the advantages. Not everybody came through the first lap unscathed, but I managed to avoid the damaged cars and was back into the race again. This was not an easy race with the long straights here. With 39 kg extra to pull out of the corner and less power than most others it was quite tough. I was up to 12th for some time, but I could not hold on to it until the finish. The engine started to lose some power towards the end and 15th was all I could get today. Unfortunately not the same success as last time around, but that's also a part of racing.

-credit: coronel.nl

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Tom Coronel , Nicola Larini