Tom Coronel 7th and 4th with ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze.
Suzuka, 26th October, 2014 – The 5.807 kilometres long Suzuka Grand Prix circuit was the venue for the penultimate race meeting of the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). In the first race at the Japanese track, Citroën driver José María López from Argentina managed to wrap up the World Touring Car Championship drivers' title. In this race, Tom Coronel started from eighth place and managed to make up one position.
When I saw the three Citroëns getting closer and closer in my rear-view mirror, I knew one ting for sure: I wasn't going to let them past!
The ROAL Motorsport driver focussed on the second race, in which he started third on the grid. In the turmoil of the first few metres, however, he lost this valuable position to Norbert Michelisz. After that, the Dutch Chevrolet Cruze driver had a nice battle with the Citroën works-drivers who were right behind him.
Tom Coronel made the best use of his track knowledge in his second home country and thus managed to hold on to his fourth place. As a result, he added more world championship points to his tally. In the drivers' standings, he is currently seventh with a total of 148 points.
After the races, Tom Coronel commented: "Of course, a podium finish was my goal, but the peak just wasn't there. It went well, but not well enough to score a top three result. Bearing that in mind, I am quite happy with the world championship points I have scored here. With my history in Japan and the many fans I have here, I would have loved to be on the podium once again, but unfortunately, that wasn't to be."
"In the first race, I had a good, but not a great start. Then, you lose contact to the front runners right away and you are left out there, all alone in no man's land, so to say. I moved up one place after Yvan Muller's retirement, but that was all. Obviously, I had my mind set on the second race. In between the two races, there was only little time to repair and therefore, preventing any damage was the main thing."
"For the second race, I slightly changed the set-up of the car and got fresh tyres on the front axle. I was on the second row of the grid alongside Michelisz's Honda, but he had a rocket start and took my third place. My car started understeering pretty soon and I didn't want to ruin my tyres straight away. So, just like in the first race, it was a matter of clever driving, hoping for others to make a mistake and wait for opportunities to occur. It was by no means a boring affair. When I saw the three Citroëns getting closer and closer in my rear-view mirror, I knew one ting for sure: I wasn't going to let them past! A nice battle followed and the good thing is that I managed to stay ahead of them. Too bad that it wasn't enough for me to collect a trophy, but as I said, I am very happy with the world championship points I have scored."
Result Race 1
1. José María López (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) 11 laps in 23:54.353; 2. Tom Chilton (ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze) +8.473; 3. Sébastien Loeb (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) +9.693; 4. Norbert Michelisz (Honda Civic WTCC) +10.414; 5. Hugo Valente (Chevrolet Cruze) +12.153; 6. Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic WTCC) op 12.707 and 7. Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze) +13.514.
Result Race 2
1. Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic WTCC) 11 laps in 23:55.783; 2. Dusan Borkovic (Chevrolet Cruze) +1.725 ; 3. Norbert Michelisz (Honda Civic WTCC) +4.360 ; 4. Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze) +5,497; 5. Yvan Muller, +6,116; 6. José María López, +6,346 and 7. Sébastian Loeb +6,665 (all Citroën C-Elysée WTCC).
Standings after 22 races
1. and champion: José María López 422 points; 2. Yvan Muller 305; 3. Sébastien Loeb 275; 4. Tiago Monteiro 174; 5. Norbert Michelisz 169; 6. Gabriele Tarquini 67 and 7. Tom Coronel 148.