In the FIA WTCC drivers’ standings, Tom Coronel is currently ninth with a total of 114 points.
Sonoma, USA – The ninth FIA WTCC meeting of the season took place in the United States. At the 4 kilometres long Sonoma Raceway near San Francisco and Sacramento in California, the WTCC competitors held two races of 13 laps each.
Among them was Tom Coronel with the ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC. Like last year, the 41-year old Dutch driver had a difficult build-up, but made a strong recovery in the races at the undulating track.
Having started eleventh, he finished seventh in the first race. Coronel started from twelfth on the grid into the second race, in which he was classified sixth. In the FIA WTCC drivers’ standings, Tom Coronel is currently ninth with a total of 114 points.
Thus, I also lost the necessary track time in preparation for these races. We had split first qualifying (watch video below!) in three parts. After my first run, I was sixth, so that was okay. In the second run, I was held up by Charles Ng in one of the other BMWs and we were too late for the third run.
Thus, I ended up 13th and wasn’t in for the top 12 qualifying. Too bad, and absolutely unnecessary, because I was only eighth hundredths off. Technical issues from others meant that I eventually ended up eleventh on the grid for race one. That was a good race with a strong start.
After that, I was stuck behind Rob Huff for a couple of laps. He was visibly slower, but tried to defend his position. There was some contact and he clearly didn’t like that. Finally, I managed to get past with two laps remaining and I finished seventh. After the race, Rob and I talked to each other and he admitted that he was slower.
In race two, I had a great start that saw me moving up four or five positions right away. Then I was in a group of four behind James Nash. He dropped back more and more and I overtook him as well, so that I was classified sixth. The car was good and fast and thus, it becomes clear that the way we messed up in qualifying cost me a podium finish that would definitely have been within reach.
The good news is that we still have two sets of tyres left for the next races in Japan, my second home country. We will make the best use of them and try to score another podium finish there. It will not be easy, but that will be our goal,” Tom Coronel says.