BEST WEEKEND SO FAR FOR SEAT DRIVER TOM CORONEL IN FIA-WTCC 2007 SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel can look back on his best weekend in the FIA WTCC so far this year. The 13thand 14th race of the World Championship for Touring Cars were held...
BEST WEEKEND SO FAR FOR SEAT DRIVER TOM CORONEL IN FIA-WTCC 2007
SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel can look back on his best weekend in the FIA WTCC so far this year. The 13thand 14th race of the World Championship for Touring Cars were held at the Swedish track of Anderstorp. The wet weather had been a factor all through the weekend and demanded a high level of flexibility for the teams and drivers in terms of driving style and car setup. For Tom Coronel and the GR-Asia team, which is responsible for the technical preparation of the SEAT Team Holland car, this resulted in two fourth places, Their best result so far this year.
Tom Coronel: "It was a weird weekend. It was raining nearly every day, for short or long periods. This is a track with a lot of grass patches alongside. These patches tend to get full of water with these amounts of rain. You really have to take care to stay away from it as much as you can, otherwise it is the end of your session or race. Furthermore you have to be careful with your tyres. On Friday it was dry in most of our sessions. At that time our setup was working fine and we were third quickest. Then the weather started to change and we also had to adapt our setup. From dry to wet settings and back, or sometimes a mix of both. All the time we were looking for the best setup for the situation on the track, which was changing minute by minute. The same happened on Saturday. We were looking for a setup that kept our tyres in good shape as long as possible. In qualifying we were doing well at the beginning, but minutes later I was down in 20th place. Together with my team manager Paul Ridgway we decided to wait until the last few minutes of the session, as the track was drying out and getting quicker every second. This proved to be a good decision and I ended up ninth fastest and due to a penalty for Roberto Colciago I moved up one position on the grid.
So I started the first race from eighth place on a very slippery track. Another disadvantage was the spray that took away all visibility. We decided to save our tyres in the first few laps by taking the corners a bit slower an not leaning to much on them. Also we had to cool the tyres by driving through the wet patches on the straights. If you don't do it the temperature of the tyres will really get high there with speeds of 230/240km/h and your wet weather tyres will be destroyed within a few laps. After I held of the attacks of Porteiro I noticed that other drivers were getting tyre problems, while mine were still good. This way I managed to move up to third spot in the second part of the race. Unfortunately the ignition was cutting off now and then so I lost some power. Also I went a bit wide on one of the kerbs causing a big slide as they were very slippery. I managed to keep the car on the track, but I lost two positions. One of them I got back before the end of the race so I ended the first race in fourth place.
For the second race Tom Coronel would have liked to have slick tyres. "On my spot on the startgrid however there was still a lot of water, so it was not really an option. Also this time we opted to be smart and safe. The first five laps I took it easy and I was on a comfortable fourth place. When James Thompson in the Alfa was getting closer I also went quicker and closed up on Gabriele Tarquini in front of me. I managed to pass him relatively easy, which put me in third behind two Chevrolets who obviously had the best of their tyres. The danger however came again from behind. Ryckard Rydell had made the gamble to start on slicks and was closing rapidly with track now almost dry. There was no way I could keep him behind me and he eventually won the race. So again I was back in fourth place and without any realistic chance to move up. Two times fourth is of course a good result but now I really want to move up one more spot to make it to the podium", Tom Coronel said