Back home in Asia Tom Coronel 6th and Duncan Huisman 10th on the grid It has been almost a year since Duncan Huisman and the Carly Motors Team won the Macau Guia race in 2003. Carly Motors has won the race for four consecutive times during the...
Back home in Asia
Tom Coronel 6th and Duncan Huisman 10th on the grid
It has been almost a year since Duncan Huisman and the Carly Motors Team won the Macau Guia race in 2003. Carly Motors has won the race for four consecutive times during the Grand Prix of Macau, near Hong Kong. This prestigious race at the end of the European racing season is a challenge for every Touringcar driver and this year Tom Coronel and Duncan Huisman are back to try to keep the title in the team.
During the season, the Carly Motors team was driving in the European Touringcar Championship as an independent team. Tom Coronel won the Independents title for the team. "The whole season I had to drive and think of the points for the independents title. Sometimes I could have pushed a little more to be more in front, but the independents championship was the goal for the team this year and that was most important. Here in Macau it is totally different. The track is not new to me. I was here several years ago in a formula3 car and was driving here in 2001 with Carly Motors and teammate Duncan Huisman. That year, I was winning race 1, while Duncan got the title in race 2." Said Tom
For Duncan the coming back to Macau is very special. "I didn't drive a complete championship this season. I raced with BMW Works M3GTR in several langstrecke races in Germany and the 24 hours of the Nürburgring. In Oschersleben I was driving a Carly BMW next to Tom. I was winning Macau 3 times now, and I really would like to win again. It would be unique. Even more than it is already with 3 titles in the pocket." Said Duncan.
The qualification session is split up into two sessions. One session on Thursday, and one session on Friday. The first free practise was the first time the Carly Motors team drove Yokohama tyres on the Guia track, so for both Duncan and Tom a chance to get to know the behaviour of the car and tyres. Tom: "The tyres are different from the Michelin tyres so there is much to learn here during the free practise sessions. If I look at the second set during qualifying I was very happy with them and I am sure we can put a top 6 position for both Carly Motors Drivers on the clocks during qualifying"
Duncan: "The car feels great. I think we have a very good set up and a great engine this weekend. Of course I know the track, but that is just an advantage during the first few laps. After some practise sessions, that advantage is gone. I am looking forward for the final qualifying session on Friday.
With a 5th place for Tom and a 8th place for Duncan in the first qualification session on Thursday, there was some work to do for the dutch boys who were very much motivated to put their BMW's in front of the grid:"I know there is a 2.34.9 possible with this car and that would put me in the top 4." Said Tom. But the qualifying session went a little different. The combined field of worldwide touringcars and "local heroes" started theis session, while after 15 minutes the local drives had to retire to give way to the factory teams and privateer teams. "We decided to wait for that moment to go out to be able to have a clear way when we would have out flying lap. But already in the first lap the back of my car broke out and I couldn't avoid hitting the wall. I couldn't put any time on the clock and the 2.36.751 is good enough for a 10th place." Said the three times Macau champion. Not a usual sight not to see Duncan in front of the grid. But his view is very simple: "This is Macau guys. If there is a race on earth where everything can happen, it is here. Of course, winning will be almost impossible, but a podium? I don't know. We will see on Sunday!"
Tom also waited to go out for his session until the local drivers retired, but due to the accident with Duncan's car a code red was preventing him from finishing his flying lap. Then another yellow flag situation made him to stop the next lap again so tom was only able to do one flying lap in his session. A second faster than the first session on Thursday it was, and that gives him confidence for the race: "I am not disappointed at all with the result. We are behind the factory run teams and I am able to work my way to the podium. I stil remember Spa during the ETCC race where I had to start at the back of the field and finishing 6th.
The Macau Grand Prix race for the Guia Touringcars is on Sunday November 21st