SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel got less than he hoped for in WTCC home event.
After improving the setup of his car together with the GR-Asia engineers, SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel was full of confidence to do well in his first home event in the FIA WTCC. The warm up boosted his confidence even further as he was third quickest. Coronel was obviously out to make up for his 15th place on the startgrid. When the 25 cars were released for a rolling start the Dutch driver immediately gained two positions before arriving at the Tarzan corner. On lap 6 he tried another move to gain a position, however the effort ended in tears and Tom had to abandon the race. The second race saw Tom moving up from the back of the grid. During the 12 laps of the race Coronel managed to up to 14th position.
Together with the team Coronel was looking for possibilities to make his SEAT Leon quicker. "We made quite a lot of changes, especially to the suspension of the car. Not just to improve the handling, but also to make the tyres last longer. I used the warm up to do as much laps as possible and the tyrewear was much better now. In the first race I had a good start and I gained two places right away. I was immediately fighting in a group of cars. James Thompson was ahead of me and Jorg Muller was attacking me from the rear. I was watching Thompson to see where I could overtake him. Suddenly he made a small mistake at the back of the circuit. I did not hesitate and I immediately jumped into the gap. We were side by side entering the corner, but he continued to steer in. We touched and he hit my left rear wheel. It broke and the suspension was bent, so it was the end of my race. Fortunately I made it back to the pits so the crew could repair the car well in time for the second race. In fact they just finished their job before the chequered flag of race 1 was dropped".
With the car back in race condition Coronel noticed the rain drops on his windscreen as he drove his SEAT Leon to his grid position. The few rain drops were enough for the organisation to declare the race as a wet race. This meant that the lights had to be switched on and that the race would not be stopped when the real rain would come. As this was still not the case all drivers started the race on slick tyres. Tom started from the back of the grid, together with the other drivers that did not finish the first race. 'Once more I had a very good start. Immediately I was behind Rob Huff and we started to move up through the field together. Towards the end I was losing ground on him, so I finished in a lonely 14th place. Really a shame that we did not score any points after our initial good showing, especially here in front of all the fans that came to see us. Bad luck however is also a part of racing. We will now focus on the next race at Valencia in two weeks time. This is a real SEAT track, so we will continue our aim for a podium place there", Tom Coronel concluded.