Podium for Tom Coronel in Oschersleben
The stage for the 13th and 14th round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship was set at Oschersleben, a modern track nearby Magdenburg in Germany. Victory in both of the 14 lap-races were taken by BMW drivers. The first race was won by reigning champion Andy Priaulx and the second went to Alessandro Zanardi. SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel managed to close the gap to championship leader Marc Hennerici in the Michelin Independents Trophy to just five points. In the privateers battle Coronel came home fifth of the in the first race and he won the second race in his SEAT Toledo Cupra prepared by GR team Asia.
On the eve of this race weekend Tom Coronel got a pleasant surprise from the SEAT Sport works team. "As a reward for my performance in the WTCC so far this year they decided to give me the aerodynamic package of the 2005 works cars. Frankly speaking I did not have the opportunity to test the difference as during my qualifying lap I was catching a slipstream but the guy ahead of me went off at the most important part of the track. My tyres had had so there was no chance in improving and I was down in 21st place. I knew beforehand that we would have a disadvantage with a front wheel driven car here. This is really a BMW track which is reflected by the results. Despite that I really wanted to make something of it. However it just would not be my race. Right after the start my car was already damaged due to all sorts of cars pushing me. Fortunately I managed to stay on the track and I was trying to make up as much ground as possible. This worked out pretty well and at a certain time I was second of the privateers. But as I said, it just was not my race. I made a mistake and I missed my braking point. This cost me three positions in the privateers battle and there was no time left to make them up. So that was my faith, fifth in the Independents Trophy and a position way down on the order. ", Tom Coronel said.
An unsatisfying result for Tom and a lot of work in the break between the two races for the GR-Asia crew was all what was left from the first race. "It seemed to me like Mission Impossible to transfer my damaged Toledo into a decent racing car again in just 15 minutes. When I was talking to my teamboss on the grid he said to me: "look Tom, you have got a brand new race car again. It was incredible, but they really managed to prepare the car in time for the second race. So I was back in business again. Right after the start there was a lot of pushing and shoving, and this time I really wanted to stay out of trouble, which in fact I did. Especially after I could overtake Carl Rosenblad relatively easy and I saw some of my nearest opponents for the Independents Trophy trackside, I could smell victory. I went for maximum points in the Michelin Independents Trophy but I was also fighting with Alfa works driver Gabriele Tarquini. Just before we went past the chequered flag I could overtake him, which is nothing more than a nice bonus for me", Tom Coronel concluded.
In the standings for the Michelin Independents Trophy Tom Coronel closed in on series leader Marc Hennerici to just 5 points. The battle will continue on 18 September at the new track of Istanbul, which recently hosted it's first Formula One race.