The fifth round of the Japanese GT series was witnessed by 55000 enthusiastic spectators at the Fuji Speedway. If you want to say so you can call the Fuji track Tom's adapted home circuit as the Dutchman now lives in the nearby town of Gotemba.
The fifth round of the Japanese GT series was witnessed by 55000 enthusiastic spectators at the Fuji Speedway. If you want to say so you can call the Fuji track Tom's adapted home circuit as the Dutchman now lives in the nearby town of Gotemba. This weekend Coronel drove the Mobil 1 Nakajima Honda NSX with a new teammate for the first time: Hidetoshi Mitsusada, the same driver who also partners him in the PIAA Nakajima Formula Nippon team. After practice the team lined up ninth on the startgrid. Despite a strong 57-lap race the Dutch-Japanese duo didn't come further than eighth place in the end. Of course Tom Coronel, who is sponsored this year by Marlboro, Mobil 1, McGregor, Bakker Bart, Bridgestone and Honda hoped for more but the Dutchman did not let the disappointment get to him and quickly moved his thoughts to his next race, also at Fuji. In four weeks time the seventh round of the Formula Nippon championship will be held there. Tom is leading this championship at the moment and it is obvious that his main interest lies in Formula Nippon.
"Despite our less than average starting place we managed to make a good race", Tom started his story. "I took the start and drove the first 37 laps of the race. It went quite well, the car handled OK and after some fights with my fellow competitors I moved up to fourth place. When we had to come into the pits the Toyotas who were just behind me still had to come in too. They came in at the same time. Unfortunately our pitstop didn't go as planned and we lost all the places we gained moments before. All in all Mitsusada did a good job to bring the car home. He needed some laps to get into his rhythm and he managed to continue the race in a good pace, but unfortunately he didn't gain any places", Coronel concluded afterwards.
For Tom the season this year is focused on Formula Nippon. Next week he will have an extensive test session at Mine. In our last race it was shown that a good testprogramme is absolutely vital in maintaining our lead in the championship. The Nakajima team also sees the importance of this, so I am confident that we will have a good shot at the title", Tom said.
Results: 1. Noda / Gardner - Toyota Supra 2. Wakisaka / Kaneishi - Honda NSX 3. Comas / Motoyama - Nissan Skyline 8. Coronel / Mitsusada - Honda NSX
Championship standings: 1. Eric Comas 61 2. Satoshi Motoyama 53 3. Masanori Sekiya / Kurosawa 43 14 Tom Coronel 13