ETCC: Spa: Tom Coronel race report

Strong performance of Tom Coronel at Spa The seventh edition of the LG Super Racing Weekend was held together with the 24 hour race at the illustrious circuit of Spa Francorchamps. Because of this the ETCC races took place on Saturday in stead...

Strong performance of Tom Coronel at Spa

The seventh edition of the LG Super Racing Weekend was held together with the 24 hour race at the illustrious circuit of Spa Francorchamps. Because of this the ETCC races took place on Saturday in stead of the regular Sunday afternoon schedule. Besides Tom Coronel, Paulien Zwart was also back with the Dutch Carly Motors squad. After her freak accident in testing at Magny Cours Paulien managed to fight her way back behind the wheel of her BMW 320i. Practice for Tom Coronel was dominated by technical problems, which explained the Dutchman being dead last on the starting grid. Unfortunately for Tom a great number of guest drivers came over from the German championship which put him even more down the grid. The guest drivers formed an extra factor for Tom to defend his first place in the Michelin Independents Trophy. Coronel managed to keep his lead in this battle of the privateers, despite his 14th place in the first race. In the second race the Carly Motors BMW driver stormed up to sixth place in the general classification and first of the independent drivers. Tom's teammate Paulien Zwart was less fortunate. Her engine overheated during the lengthy starting procedure bringing an end to her race weekend.

Tom Coronel started his weekend at the Ardennes with technical problems. "In free practice I was sidelined early due to a broken driveshaft. We missed some valuable setup time there. The second session went a bit better and we did eight laps in total in which we found a decent setup for the car. Unfortunately bad luck stroke again in qualifying. Just when I wanted to start my first flying lap the differential broke. I was down in 33rd and last place", Tom said. For both Tom and the Carly Motors crew the technical problems came as a surprise as the team spent the one month break since the last race in rebuilding the car. With Spa being the race closest to their home base in Leiden Tom Coronel did not disappoint the Carly Motors team and all their guests. After a long and messy starting procedure Coronel had a good start. "After the first lap I was up in 16th place and for me it was a matter of bringing the car to the finish. Despite that the car was handling not as good as in the warm up it was OK. I only made a small mistake in my fight with Autodelta Alfa driver Augusto Farfus. He tried to overtake me on the inside but we touched and I was in the gravel. I lost about seven seconds there which was a shame. At the finish I was 14th and fifth of the privateers, which was the maximum for me in this race", Tom concluded.

During the break between the races Coronel's BMW underwent some setup changes. "We changed the rollbar, the ride height and the wing settings which improved the settings of the car. I noticed it already on my out lap as I was driving to the grid. I had far more grip at the exit of the corners. Right after the start I moved up to ninth place and in the laps to come I moved up bit by bit. On the final lap I overtook James Thompson and Kurt Mollekens when they had a collision with Andy Priaulx. This put me in sixth place and first of the privateers", Tom said afterwards.

After the weekend at Spa Tom Coronel is still leading the standings in the Michelin Independents Trophy. The Dutchman now has a total of 110 points, 34 more than second placed Salvatore Tavano. A final notable feat from Spa was the fastest lap that Tom set during the second race. Despite the setbacks early in the weekend Tom Coronel and Carly Motors can look back to a fine result which brings confidence to the three LG Super Racing Weekends that are still to come. The first one of them will take place on 5 September at the Italian circuit of Imola.

-tcm-

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Series General
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Tom Coronel , James Thompson , Augusto Farfus , Kurt Mollekens , Salvatore Tavano , Paulien Zwart