Brands Hatch: Valuable championship points for SEAT driver Tom Coronel The seventh race weekend of the FIA World Touring Car Championship brought four valuable championship points for Dutch driver Tom Coronel. The SEAT Team Holland driver took...
Brands Hatch: Valuable championship points for SEAT driver Tom Coronel
The seventh race weekend of the FIA World Touring Car Championship brought four valuable championship points for Dutch driver Tom Coronel. The SEAT Team Holland driver took fifth place in the first of the two races. On the opening lap of the second race Coronel ran into problems causing him to score only a 22th place finish in his SEAT Leon TFSi prepared by SunRed Racing. With ten races still to go in the championship Tom Coronel is 14th in the standings with 14 points.
"I had a promise to keep", Tom Coronel said. Indeed in the previous round at Estoril Tom Coronel had a brand new TFSi petrol engine in his SEAT. Furthermore the FIA decided just before the Portuguese round that the petrol engined SEATs could take 15 kg off their minimum weight. The SunRed team used the past two weeks to optimize the SEAT Leon to the new situation. Also the team needed some time to find the optimum for the settings of the new engine. With all this in mind Tom said that a top 8 position was a realistic possibility again. At Brands Hatch he kept his promise. After a strong performance in free practice where the new setup really worked well he took ninth place in qualifying.
"It all worked out very well. From the first laps in practice the car worked perfect. The SunRed crew did a perfect job in bringing down the weight of the car and the new exhaust system in combination with the new engine gave us more torque out of the corners. In qualifying I had a mega slipstream from Rob Huff and I was in sixth for much of the time. Later on some others were quicker, but the time differences were very small.
The first race started of well. I noticed that the guys ahead of me were making life difficult for each other. Soon the first one dropped out and there were more to follow. Towards the end it was Alain Menu who dropped back, bringing me up to fifth in the end. Fifth place means three championship points and third place on the grid for the second race. With this place on the grid and with the car handling perfectly in the first race things were looking bright for race 2. However on the warm up lap I noticed that there was something wrong with the balance of the car. I could not really find out what was wrong, but when I was back on the grid I noticed that the right front was higher, so I knew that I had a slow puncture in the left rear tyre. I decided to take the start anyway. In the first corner another driver ran into me causing a puncture in the left front as well. So it was back to the pits for two new tyres. Despite that the safety car was out during my stop I lost too much ground to go for championship points. At least we took them in the first race and I am happy to be in a position to fight for a top 8 position again. We hope to do the same in Oschersleben again, so despite our bad luck in the second race I am satisfied with our progress over the last few weeks", Tom Coronel said.