Valencia: Tom Coronel weekend summary

Successful Spanish WTCC weekend for Tom Coronel SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel made a quick recovery after the hectic weekend at Pau. In the aftermath of the race weekend the Dutchman gained a place after a fellow competitor was...

Successful Spanish WTCC weekend for Tom Coronel

SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel made a quick recovery after the hectic weekend at Pau. In the aftermath of the race weekend the Dutchman gained a place after a fellow competitor was disqualified after the race. This handed him a championship point for eighth place and even some more points for the Yokohama Independents Trophy. The fifth weekend of the FIA WTCC, held on the Ricardo Tomo circuit at Valencia, started well for Tom with top 10 positions in free practice and seventh quickest in qualifying. However after qualifying the SUNRED SEAT Leon TFSi appeared to be 2.5 kg too light. Thus all times set in the second qualifying session were taken away from the Dutchman and he had to start the race from 10th position. By being smart in the opening lap of the race Coronel climbed up to fifth and managed to hold on to it until the final stage if the race. Then he let two works cars get passed as he wanted to ensure the points for the Independents Trophy. Coronel brought his SEAT Leon home in seventh position and took victory in the Yokohama Independents Trophy. With the top eight grid being reversed for the start of race 2 Coronel was on the front row. However his front wheel drive SEAT Leon could not hold on to the rear wheel driven BMWs that were right behind him. Tom dropped back and decided to focus on his position for the Independents Trophy. He just missed out the victory, but took very valuable points for second bringing him the championship lead.

"A nice victory and a lot of points", that is how Tom Coronel summed up his weekend. "It was not to bad at all. I had a set of good tyres left and in the two free practice sessions I took fourth and ninth place respectively. Qualifying went also fine, despite a small problem with the starter motor, which was quickly resolved by the SUNRED crew. I took ninth in the first part of qualifying, which was good enough to take part in the second session. Q2 was really quick for me. In the first corner I was already one tenth quicker than before. The the second corner it was tow tenths and later on three tenths. The tyres really had the maximum amount of grip and the car was handling perfectly. In the final part of the lap I was a but over cautious, so there was just a little bit more in it left. It is a shame that we learned afterwards that we were 2.5 kg too light. The team did several weight checks before qualifying and we were always on the safe side. It might have been some liquids that had leaked away from the car or some oil, we will never know I guess. I started from tenth and I had only one goal: get to the inside of the first turn as soon as possible. I closed in behind Jorg Muller and before the corner there were already some drivers battling it out the hard way. I came through cleanly and suddenly realised that I was in fifth position. Then I had a good look where my competitors for the Independents Trophy were and I adapted my strategy to it. Taking the class win and as much points as possible was my mission. We succeeded in doing so in race 1. In the second race I got of the line well, but the rear wheel driven BMWs and the turbodiesel powered works Leons had a distinct advantage on me. To be honest I was hoping for some rain, but it did not fall. I dropped back to 10th place and I just missed out on the Independents win. That was a shame, but I am happy to be leading the standings in the Independents Trophy now", Tom Coronel said. The Dutchman will be accompanied in the SUNRED team by his twin brother Tim during the next FIA WTCC weekend at Brno. Tim is racing in the SEAT Leon Eurocup this year. The twin brother of Tom had a strong weekend and was awarded with the WTCC prizedrive that goes to the best performer of the weekend.

Tom Coronel is supported in 2009 by: SEAT Nederland, TW Steel Big in oversized watches, McGregor fashion, Saarloos Automotive, Beelen demolition works and Olympia Staffing.

-credit: tc

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller