SEAT Nederland looks back upon six successful years with Tom Coronel in WTCC
Leusden, January 8th, 2011 - After six years, the co-operation between SEAT Netherlands and race driver Tom Coronel in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), the highest touring car series sanctioned by the global governing body for motorsport, the FIA, has come to an end. Coronel has opted for a different route for the upcoming season. From 2005 till 2010, he participated in 130 WTCC races with SEAT. In 2006 and 2009, Tom Coronel won the title in the WTCC Independents' Trophy with a SEAT Leon.
"On behalf of SEAT Netherlands, all employees and the SEAT dealer network in our country, I sincerely would like to thank Tom Coronel for the co- operation in the past years", says Bram Leijten, managing director of SEAT Netherlands. "With his commitment and his achievements, Tom has significantly contributed to the awareness and the sporting image of our brand in The Netherlands. Moreover, in all these years, he has given us many exciting moments when we followed him during the races, both at the track and in front of the television screens. We wish Tom all the very best for his future career."
Tom Coronel himself is also looking back with satisfaction on his era with SEAT. "A really special chapter in my career is now coming to an end", he says. "For me, SEAT is the brand with which I have enjoyed the longest relationship. Over the years, we have become something like a family. I really like to thank SEAT Netherlands and the entire SEAT organisation for the support I have received and the special experiences I have made. Of course, my victory in Japan in 2008 and my two Independents' championship titles in 2006 and 2009 are the memories that stand out in particular."
SEAT Team Holland
Tom Coronel started with a SEAT Toledo Cupra in 2005, the year in which the WTCC was revived. The car was entered under the banner of 'SEAT Team Holland' by the GR Asia outfit, led by Brit Paul Ridgway. A nice third place for Coronel in the second race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium was the best result of the season.
In 2006, Coronel started again with the Toledo, but from the third race meeting at Brands Hatch, that car was replaced by a SEAT Leon. In his maiden race with the new car, fitted with a black and orange livery, he immediately became the best-placed privateer driver and at the end of that season, Coronel sealed the Independents' championship title. The best season result was a fine third place in the final round of the season at the Macau street circuit. In 2007, Coronel again raced the Leon which was still run by GR Asia. A fourth place at the Porto street circuit and two forth places at Anderstorp in Sweden were the best results of that year.
Historic World Championship victory in Japan 2008
In 2008, Tom Coronel's SEAT Leon was entered by Spanish team SUNRED for the first time, the outfit having close links with SEAT Sport. A strong runner- up finish at Oschersleben was followed by the Dutch driver's maiden victory in the race at Okayama in Japan, an exceptional performance for any driver from The Netherlands at world championship level. In 2009, Coronel was allowed to compete in the Independents' Trophy again for the first time and duly won the title. The best achievement of the season was fourth place in the first race at Oschersleben. Last year, Coronel had his Leon with a petrol engine replaced by a diesel-powered TDI version. With that car, he scored a pair of podium finishes with second place at Monza and third place at Marrakesh.