Valencia: Tom Coronel weekend summary

Tom Coronel just misses points score at Valencia The Spanish track Ricardo Tomo at Valencia staged the fifth and sixth round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship this weekend. For the Dutch SEAT driver Tom Coronel his impressive charge to...

Tom Coronel just misses points score at Valencia

The Spanish track Ricardo Tomo at Valencia staged the fifth and sixth round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship this weekend. For the Dutch SEAT driver Tom Coronel his impressive charge to the front was left unrewarded with championship points. Under wet condition Coronel set only a 18th position on the startgrid out of the 26 participants, a quite disappointing result for the Dutchman. In the first race of the day over 13 laps Coronel retook his regular form however and marched up to ninth place when the chequered flag dropped. An impressive performance, but it was left unrewarded as only the top 8 scorers are eligible for points, and more important, with the reverse grid regulations eight place in race one means pole position for race two. So Coronel started as he finished in race one, from ninth. The first race of the weekend is always started by a rolling start from behind the safety car. The second race always takes of with a standing start. This would mean havoc for Tom Coronel as he already noticed major clutch problems on his out lap to the startgrid. On the pre grid the Dutchman already mentioned this in the live report to the Eurosport camera. He managed to get away from the line for the formation lap, but the standing start proved to be a bit too much for the SunRed prepared SEAT Leon TFSi. The only thing Tom could do when the lights went off was parking the car trackside. His race was over after just a few meters.

"It is really a big shame", Tom Coronel says. "We did two days of testing with the SunRed team in which me made good progress. We expected a lot here in Spain. Qualifying did not bring us the right results. It wa raining heavily and I decided to go out on a set of cold rain tyres. This meant that I could save a full set of tyres in the tyre warmers for later in the session. With about four minutes to go I came in for the final tyre change, but we made a miscalculation. When I wanted to start my final flying lap the chequered flag was already waved, so I completely missed out. We were really disappointed, especially on a track like this where overtaking is not an easy job. Fortunately I had a good start in the first race and I was able to overtake some people right away. After that I could benefit from some other people dropping off which helped me to climb up the leaderboard. Alain Menu, who started from the back of the grid, was ahead of me and helped me a bit by overtaking other people and creating gaps. I followed him as close as I could and I came home in ninth place, just behind him.

When I drove to the startgrid for the start of the second race of the day I immediately noticed problems with the clutch. The team tried to repair it on the grid, but unfortunately time was too short for it. I was able to get it in gear for the formation lap, but al already heard that it would be difficult, especially as we would have a standing start and not a rolling one. I decided to give it a try, but when the lights went out for the start, they also went out for my car. There was no way I could get of the line on racing speed. The only thing I could do was parking the car in a safe position. It's a shame, but it is also a part of motorracing. We just have to look forward to the next race. I certainly do look forward to it as it will be in the streets of Pau. I very much like street circuits and I often do well there. Let's hope Pau will be in our favour this year.

-credit: tomcoronel.nl

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