Tom Coronel increases lead in Independents Trophy Tom Coronel started in three races in the LG Super Racing Weekend at the German Hockenheimring. The first one he competed in was the FIA GT race driving a Lister Storm GT. The other two were the...
Tom Coronel increases lead in Independents Trophy
Tom Coronel started in three races in the LG Super Racing Weekend at the German Hockenheimring. The first one he competed in was the FIA GT race driving a Lister Storm GT. The other two were the ETCC races in which he drove a BMW 320i prepared by Carly Motors. Tom's race in the FIA GT series came to a sudden end when the car caught fire in the final hour. The Dutchman finished the two races in the ETCC with third and second in the Independents trophy respectively. As his main rivals in the Michelin Independents Trophy failed to score this weekend Coronel increased his lead and now has 58 points in total. The second car of the Carly Motors team remained untouched this weekend as Paulien Zwart is still recovering and father Klaas had other obligations. The best news for the team came from the Dutch pharmacy chain Kruidvat which will support the team from this weekend on.
So once again a busy schedule for Tom Coronel. "In GT we drove the new Lister which was powered by the old engine. In practice my teammate overrevved the new one so we were forced to change back to the old unit. With the new one engine rule we were also put back to the back of the grid. My teammate Patrick Pearce took the start and drove the first half hour. Then it was my turn for a one hour stint. Patrick got back in and after that I got in again to take it to the finish. Unfortunately we did not make it that far. During my final stint a part of the fuel system broke which injected the fuel into the airbox under high pressure. In no time the car was completely on fire. I quickly got out of the car, fortunately unhurt. However the car is completely damaged. Really a shame as we were getting into the top eight at that moment", Coronel said.
Then Coronel started the first of his two ETCC races. "The weather was good but my place on the grid wasn't. I was back down in fifteenth and there was no real explanation for it. In free practice I was up to sixth place. We did not change the car as it felt perfect. When I saw the pitboard saying that I was down in fifteenth I thought they were fooling me. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. We made some changes which proved to work in the warm up. The start of the first race was not great, but still I was there. My main rivals for the Independent Trophy, Tavano and Rangoni were near me. During my march through the field I got stuck and could not really move up. It was one of those races with a lot of contact. Towards the end I was in eighth place which would have put me on pole for the second race, but after a push from one of my rivals I dropped back to eleventh. This also put me back in third in the privateer ranking", Tom Coronel said.
Tom continues his story about the second ETCC race. "In the break between the races we changed the tracking of the car. After all the pushing and shoving in the first race this was really needed. The second start was not too bad, but I got stuck again. After some laps I managed to escape from the fighting and overtook Salvatore Tavano towards the end. This put me second in the privateer ranking behind Luca Rangoni. He got the maximum result this weekend. I expect a lot of opposition from him in the Independents battle, despite his points tally does not indicate this at the moment", Tom concluded.
The first race was won by Andy Priaulx in a BMW, fellow BMW driver Jorg Muller completed the domination of the German manufacturer this weekend by winning the second race. The FIA GT race was an all Italian affair however. Italians Bobbi and Gardell were on top of an all Ferrari podium.
Tom Coronel is supported in the ETCC by: McGregor, Autocentrum Beelen, BBS, Kruidvat, JBL and Apex.
Standings after 8 races in the Michelin ETCC Independents Trophy 2004:
1.Tom Coronel 58 points, 2. Stefano D'Aste 43; 3. Salvatore Tavano 37 points.