A good score for Tom Coronel at Oschersleben Oschersleben, September 6th, 2010 - With sixth place in the first race and fifth place in the second race, SEAT driver Tom Coronel again scored well in both races of the FIA World Touring Car ...
A good score for Tom Coronel at Oschersleben
Oschersleben, September 6th, 2010 - With sixth place in the first race and fifth place in the second race, SEAT driver Tom Coronel again scored well in both races of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) at Oschersleben. With three events remaining, the Dutch driver with his SEAT Leon TDI in the colours of McGregor and TW Steel is now tied in eight place in the drivers' standings. Coronel was quite happy with his score of the weekend in Germany: "It went very well and I scored quite a lot of points. We knew beforehand that we wouldn't be the fastest with our diesel-powered cars at this circuit, but the overall score is fine."
Prior to the weekend, Tom Coronel was already looking forward to the races at Oschersleben. "There is not particularly much to do in the region around the circuit. The track is located in the former DDR and sometimes you have the impression that time has stopped when you are driving through the villages. But the track itself suits me: a technical circuit where I have done quite well in the past." One activity which Coronel was looking forward to in particular, however, had to be cancelled due to the rain: the planned acceleration battle between Coronel with a SEAT Leon Eurocup race car and Dutch motorcycle ace Jurgen van den Goorbergh riding a KTM 1190 RC8R superbike couldn't take place because of safety reasons. "Such a session on a wet track, without any preparation, would indeed have been somewhat risky on a motorcycle," Coronel admitted.
Action started early on Saturday morning with the first free practice session, in which Coronel ended up ninth fastest with a lap time of 1:37.354 minutes. In the second session around noon, the track was damp, so that lap times were slower as a result. This time, Coronel was classified eighth with 1:38.845 minutes. In the top speed rankings, he was among the fastest drivers all the time. "In terms of set-up, we are definitely on the right way. I am happy with the way things are going and it is looking pretty good for qualifying. Making it into the second qualifying heat for the ten fastest drivers should definitely be possible," Coronel announced optimistically.
Sixth place on the starting grid
In qualifying, later in the afternoon, he kept his promise: with a lap time of 1:36.509 minutes, his fastest lap time of the day, the Dutch SEAT driver was classified ninth in the first heat, which again allowed him to take part in the session for the ten fastest drivers. The thick, dark clouds that came up over the circuit in the break between the two heats, didn't look good at all and indeed, all competitors tried to get at least one flying lap in as quickly as possible once the second heat got underway. Coronel came to a lap time of 1:38.810 minutes, with which he qualified seventh for the fourth time this season already. On the starting grid for the race, he even moved one place further ahead, because Hungarian driver Norbert Michelisz still had a ten-place grid penalty because of an infringement during the previous WTCC event at Brno. Coronel's comment after qualifying: "My lap time could even have been much better, because Gabriele Tarquini came off the track while I was immediately behind him. I had to avoid him and probably lost half a second as a result. I am quite happy with my starting grid position, it went quite well." In warm-up on Sunday morning, Coronel was ninth with a lap time of 1:36.947 minutes.
Tom Coronel sixth in race one after 30 seconds penalty
In the first race, as usual in the WTCC with a rolling start, Coronel managed to steer clear of the just as usual chaos in the first corner, gaining a few positions right away. "I had an excellent start and managed to stay out of troubles. Eventually, Farfus was a little bit quicker and later on, I made a slight mistake myself, after which Yvan Muller went past, but for the rest, it was a good race," said Coronel after the first race, in which he crossed the finish line in fourth place as the best- placed SEAT driver.
However, after the second race the Stewarts decided to give 15 drivers, including, Coronel, a 30 seconds penalty because they drove faster than the allowed 90 km/h during the rolling start. Because of this Tom dropped two places, finishing in sixth position.
In the second race, he had problems getting off the line from fifth on the grid, dropping back to eighth. "The start was bad, no discussion about it," Coronel admitted. "After that, I thought: 'Shall I try something in the first corner', but there were too many people around me and I didn't want to take too many risks. After that, I overtook Poulsen and due to accidents further in the field, I gained another couple of places, so that I eventually came home fifth. All in all, I am very happy with this weekend. We scored quite well and the speed was okay."
Next races: Valencia (Spain), September 19th