Tom Coronel to continue WTCC career with a ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC
Eemnes, January 8, 2011 - In 2011, Tom Coronel will again be competing in the FIA World Touring Car Championship. The 38-year old driver will be racing a BMW 320 TC entered by Italian team ROAL Motorsport, led by multiple title winner Roberto Ravaglia. In accordance with the regulations for the upcoming season, the rear-wheel driven car will be powered by a 1.6 litre turbocharged engine, developed by BMW Motorsport.
Tom Coronel is very pleased with this new situation. "Every winter, it is thrilling to look for opportunities for the next race season. Especially in the World Touring Car Championship, the number of available drives is limited and as a driver, you always hope to be in again. For me, driving a BMW 320 TC with the new 1.7 litre turbo engine for ROAL Motorsport is a new step in my career. The brand is not new to me as I already raced a Carly Motors-BMW in the European Touring Car Championship in the past. After that, I competed in the WTCC with SEAT for six years with many nice results and two Independents' titles. Now, a new chapter is about to begin. It all started with a phone call by Roberto Ravaglia asking me to come to Italy. There, we did a deal pretty soon. The plan for the team is to run one car in the FIA WTCC, where I can work with an entire team with several mechanics and engineers. Of course, our aim is to win races and to compete for the title. That can certainly be achieved. The team is very experienced and determined and has won races in the WTCC with Alex Zanardi and Sergio Hernandez not too long ago. Moreover, there will be plenty of opportunities for testing. All this is making me very confident that we can race for victories this year", says a very enthusiastic Tom Coronel.
He continues: "I have the feeling that I won the Italian lottery and hit the jackpot! This is so great to work with the ROAL team and especially Roberto Ravaglia. I even raced with him in the early nineties. The ROAL team I know for many years, the ETCC and later the WTCC, this is a race winning team! What also helps is that the Roberto raced himself and does have a lot of experience as a racing driver and now as a team owner. This improves the communication, understanding and technical know-how inside the team. The most important thing after that is the Italian racing blood, this is unique and an experience by itself. "
ROAL team principal Roberto Ravaglia shares Coronel's enthusiasm: "The comeback in FIA WTCC, alongside the commitment in the Superstars Series, will constitute a rich sportive programme that makes ROAL Motorsport the only team present in both the two most important touring International championships. Lately, we worked hard on the organization of all human and technical resources within the team to guarantee the maximum autonomy to both activities and the contribution of a fast and well-experienced driver like Tom Coronel will be a further added value for the team. The technical package devised by BMW Motorsport is certainly interesting and I believe it will allow customer teams to aim at high level results".