Macau: Tom Coronel preview

Tom Coronel out to get Independents title in Macau From 19 to 22 November the famous Guia street circuit of Macau will be the scene of the grand finale of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). Dutch SEAT driver Tom Coronel will fight...

Tom Coronel out to get Independents title in Macau

From 19 to 22 November the famous Guia street circuit of Macau will be the scene of the grand finale of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). Dutch SEAT driver Tom Coronel will fight for the title in the Yokohama Independents Trophy, the championship for privateer driver in the WTCC. Coronel will defend a 30 points lead on Spanish driver Felix Porteiro. It seems to be a huge lead, but double points for the Independents Trophy will be awarded in Macau. Furthermore there will be the usual bonus points for a top 8 finish in the overall standings. All in all this means that in theory 50 points per race can be gained.

"I always enjoy Macau", Tom Coronel says. "I was leading the Formula 3 race here and I was on the podium in the WTCC. The circuit is great, a combination of a low speed part uptown and a mega quick part near the harbour. Both the fastest corner and the slowest corner of the season are here in Macau. This makes it an enormous challenge and the event with all its traditions is simply unique. "

For the race in Macau SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel will receive extra backing from two Hong Kong companies, the Noble Group and Sealub Alliance. The Noble Group have been long-time backers of Tom at Macau over the years, the company is a market leader in managing the global supply chain of agricultural, industrial and energy products and raw materials. Operating in over 40 countries, Noble Group sources, processes, finances and transports a wide range of essential raw materials including iron ore, coal, coffee, sugar, grain and many others.

The Sealub Alliance is a network of marine lubricant suppliers formed by Gulf Oil Marine which covers 700 ports in 50 countries supplying marine lubricants to the global shipping industry.

I have been in touch with the Noble group for many years now. Every year I organize a circuit tour by bus for the guests of this company and they have been supporting me for a great number of years now", Tom Coronel says. Sealub alliance is a new sponsor for me. Thanks to these companies and our loyal supporters McGregor and TW Steel I am able to finish the season. Hopefully we will do it in style by winning the Independents title.

The way Tom Coronel got in touch with his Asian backers is quite a story. "It was all arranged by Tim Huxley", Coronel says. "I met him in 1997 when I was racing in The Formula 3 Grand Prix of Macau. I was leading the race, but I was out of the race after hitting the guardrail. Heavily disappointed I went back to the Mandarin Hotel, where Tim happened to have a VIP room for his business relations. I got into talks with him and some of his guests. In the end they promised to support me the following year. Ever since we have had a good relationship and thanks to Tim Huxley I can count on the support of the Noble Group and Sealub Alliance."

The SEAT Leon TFSi of Tom Coronel will still be prepared by SUNRED Engineering. The Spanish team, led by Joan Orus, already clinched the team championship in the Yokohama Independents Trophy during the previous race weekend at Okayama in Japan. Besides Coronel, local Macau hero Andre Couto and Briton Tom Boardman will race a SEAT Leon TFSi for SUNRED Engineering.

Tom Coronel will be eager to add the Independent driver title to the team championship of SUNRED, but there is more glory at stake for SEAT. Works drivers Gabriele Tarquini and Yvan Muller are the favorites for the overall title with BMW driver Augusto Farfus being the only one with an outside chance to steal their glory. In the manufacturers championship SEAT has a three point lead over BMW.

-credit: tc

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Series WTCC
Drivers Tom Coronel , Yvan Muller , Augusto Farfus , Tom Boardman , Gabriele Tarquini