ETCC: Spa: Carly Motors qualifying and race 1, 2 notes

Unbelievable overtaking in ETCC Tom Coronel starts 32, finishing 6th! During the races for the European Touringcar Championship in Spa Francorchamps it was a weekend of disappointment and joy that were closely packed within 2 days. The weekend...

Unbelievable overtaking in ETCC
Tom Coronel starts 32, finishing 6th!

During the races for the European Touringcar Championship in Spa Francorchamps it was a weekend of disappointment and joy that were closely packed within 2 days. The weekend also marked the come back of the Carly Motors lady driver Paulien Zwart.

Some things doesn't end up like you expect them to be at first sight. Especially in motorsport this seems to be rule number one. In a magnificent race, Carly Motors driver Tom Coronel who had to start from a 32nd place in race one, ended up on the podium as fastest independent driver and 6th overall. "My car was fantastic in race two" said an exited Tom minutes after the race. Paulien was not so lucky in her coming back weekend. She had to stop early in race one and couldn't start race 2 because of an overheated motor. "this is motorsport. It is a mechanical sport and you always have to keep things like this into account" was the professional statement of Paulien.

The race in Spa is a special one with the 24 hours of Spa in the same weekend. The qualification session is on Friday, while the race is on Saturday, just before the start of this legendary endurance race. The field of over 30 cars is a result of the combined race that the regular ETCC teams race together with the German DMSB.

Qualification

The qualification on Friday was extremely disappointing. A broken driving shaft made it impossible for Tom to put his Carly Motors BMW 320i on a descent place on the grid. He was 32nd eventually. Not too good and not much of an outlook for good race results. But Tom was rather positive about the situation: "We are way back on the grid. It is a fact and we have to deal with it. It's on me now to turn this position into a win in the Independents Championship. I think there is a lot of overtaking to see in the race tomorrow so keep a close watch on car number 20." And overtaking is what he did. Paulien, who came back to the ETCC after a long recovery from an accident in Magny-Cours, put her car on a 29th position on the grid.

Races

A great start for Tom from P32. Within one lap he was on P14 already and managed to stay on that position throughout race 1. Even though the car was not feeling very ok said Tom: "We made some changes to the car, that didn't bring the improvement we were looking for. The car was over steered and I even got off track for a moment somewhere in the middle of the race. I didn't have the grip and I couldn't get back to racepace to improve more positions. In the break between race 1 and 2, we did a major setup change to get back to the pace we had this morning during warm-up where I was in the top 3 of the field. The Carly Motors Team succeeded in implementing the setup change and afterwards, in race 2, it was a lot better. I could get close to the leading group who were fighting for their positions. Mollekens and Rosenblatt tried to overtake me while I thingk I could have got over Priaulx but didn't take the risk and defended the great result here in Spa"

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Tom Coronel , Paulien Zwart