Tom Coronel concentrates on Independents points The eighth LG Super Racing Weekend at Imola (Italy) were concluded with a third and a fifth place in the Independents standings for Tom Coronel. Both hectic races brought enough points for the ...
Tom Coronel concentrates on Independents points
The eighth LG Super Racing Weekend at Imola (Italy) were concluded with a third and a fifth place in the Independents standings for Tom Coronel. Both hectic races brought enough points for the Dutchman to ensure his lead in the Michelin Independents Trophy, but unfortunately not yet enough to clinch the title. With two racing weekends to go in which 40 points can be earned, Tom is leading Italian driver Balzan by 29 points now.
The Dutch Carly Motors BMW driver put his car 14th on the grid in qualifying. "This is a real Alfa track which became already clear during free practice. We were nowhere near the top. The best-qualified BMW was in 11th place and the others were even more down the grid. Quite honestly I don't have an explanation for it. Perhaps it is due to the 90 degree corners that suit the front wheel driven cars a bit more. This might also keep their tyres in better condition", Tom said. With his 14th place he was fifth fastest of the privateers.
In the first race Tom Coronel had a good start. "I went of the line perfectly, but due to the high ambient temperature the engine was also heating up more than usual. Under these conditions you have to take care about the airflow to the engine, so you can't stay in a slipstream for too long. On the other hand you must not give away too much and I am not here to give away any presents. I just had enough distance between me and Zanardi and I decided not to attack Rydell who was in front of me. After all he is a factory driver and there was nothing for me to gain in the terms of points. In the end I did laps that were 1.5 seconds slower than my average times. Save the engine, bring the car home and take the points, that was all that counted for me", Tom explained. Coronel ended up third in the privateer battle, just behind his main rivals Tavano and Balzan.
The second race was dominated by a lot of pushing and shoving. "Soon after the start I saw some people being sidelined with some major damage. I managed to avoid most of it until Zanardi came flying to me on high speed an hit my left front suspension. I was not the only one. Also the cars of d'Aste and Tavano were damaged and out of the race. Despite steering problems I managed to continue the race and I was hoping the race would end behind the safety car. That didn't happen as the race was restarted with just a couple of laps to go. I suffered a lot as it took me about 40 seconds per lap extra. After some other competitors dropped out I finished 12th in the general standings and fifth in the Michelin Independents ranking. Balzan took the Independents win so it was good to still score some points", Tom said.
So Tom had to delay his Privateer championship for another race weekend. With a lead of 29 points the title can hardly escape him. "The next race will be at Oschersleben. This track should definitely favour our car. I always went well there. Now it's our turn to also make it happen", Tom Coronel concludes.
Both races were won by Gabriele Tarquini for Autodelta Alfa Romeo.
<pre> Standings Michelin Independents Trophy after Imola: 1 Tom Coronel (BMW) 120 points 2 Alessandro Balzan (Honda) 91 points 3 Salvatore Tavano (Alfa Romeo) 86 points