SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel celebrates in FIA-WTCC at Pau SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel had something to celebrate this weekend. At the tight and twisty street track of Pau in the South of France the Dutchman drove his 100th race...
SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel celebrates in FIA-WTCC at Pau
SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel had something to celebrate this weekend. At the tight and twisty street track of Pau in the South of France the Dutchman drove his 100th race in the FIA ETCC/WTCC. The series started as a European Championship and has now evolved into a World title contest for drivers and manufacturers. For Coronel twelfth in qualifying was a bit less than he hoped for. The morning warm up on race day brought only a 16th time due to a spin in the opening stages of the session. Later that day the first race took place, which brought a ninth place finish for Coronel. In the second race that followed in the afternoon the Dutchman was in the top ten for much of the race. However just a few laps before the end of the race Coronel drove his orange-black SEAT Leon to the pitbox of the GR Asia team with a broken wheel. The races at Pau were won by Alain Menu (Chevrolet Lacetti) and Augusto Farfus (BMW)
In Pau a real street track was built, with a length just shy of three kilometres and the traditional lack of margin for errors that you find on similar street tracks like Macau and Monaco. For the Dutch SEAT driver the weekend started off well. "In both free practice sessions I was up in the top three for much of the time and the differences were very small. In qualifying we could not get it together, despite mounting new front tyres. One time we had oversteer, the next time it was understeer again. There was no consistent balance. When I think about it again the problem must be caused when I one of those small walls next to the track. After qualifying the GR-Asia engineers took the car apart and noticed that the subframe was broken. At least we now had a clear explanation about the lack of handling in the car. In qualifying I was 12th, but because Farfus and Tarquini were put back on the grid I started the race in 10th position. I had a fairly good start and I was head to head with Tielemans in the Alfa. He was lining up to attack Jordi Gene, but he hesitated. At that moment I was already behind Gene and Olivier hit me when he entered the corner. I was able to continue, but for him it was the end of the race. After that It went quite well. A top eight position was on the cards and with the reversed grid for the second race I decided to focus on that, especially when some of the drivers started to get tyre problems towards the end of the race. Unfortunately it was not to be, I stayed in ninth place and there was no front row start for race two. I had a good start in it initially, but a bit later I was stuck due to an action of Jourdain. They hit the left side of my car, but I was able to continue and I had a good fight with Jorg Muller in the BMW. I was able to stay ahead of him, despite that he was pushing hard (but fair) to overtake me. In the end I had to get into the pits with a puncture. There was no point in replacing the tyre as the race was almost over and there was no chance to get anywhere near the position that I had.