Tom Coronel takes Independents success at Magny Cours Tom Coronel looks back with mixed emotion to the third and fourth round of the FIA WTCC 2006. This double race took place at the French track of Magny Cours and ended with the addition of 16...
Tom Coronel takes Independents success at Magny Cours
Tom Coronel looks back with mixed emotion to the third and fourth round of the FIA WTCC 2006. This double race took place at the French track of Magny Cours and ended with the addition of 16 points to Coronel's tally in the Yokohama Independents trophy. Both in the free practice sessions as in qualifying the GR Asia prepared SEAT Toledo Cupra proved to be quick. A combination of good handling and engine power brought the SEAT Team Holland car to a fine eighth place on the grid. With this performance Tom and his Toledo were also the highest qualified privateers on the grid. In the races the Dutchman seemed to continue his good form of the weekend. The first one ended with a tenth place overall for Coronel and a victory in the Independents trophy. The second one was less successful with a 16th place overall and third of the privateers. These are valuable results to the Dutchman whose priorities are set for the Yokohama Independents Trophy. Coronel now looks forward to the next round which will take place at Brands Hatch in England, not only because it is the home race for the GR Asia team, but also because he will race his brand new SEAT Leon WTCC there for the first time.
Looking back at the races in France Tom Coronel sums up his weekend. "In the second free practice session I took the second time overall and I was by far the best privateer. Fortunately I was able to continue my performance in qualifying in which I was up to fourth, beating even some of the works cars. Eighth place is a good place to start from, because if you manage to keep it until the end you can start from pole in the second race. Unfortunately we just missed it. I had a bad start and Rangoni, my nearest rival for the Independents Trophy passed me. I managed to overtake him shortly later. We repeated this procedure for three more times. After that he caught up with Rob Huff and Alain Menu in their Chevies, which gave me some breathing space and eventually victory in the privateer class. So I was up on to the podium while the GR-Asia crew were busy changing the settings of the car. We tried to improve the handling of the car. The shock absorber settings were changed and some more tweaks at the rear were done. All was fine for the second race of today. This time I had a great start, but on the run down to the first corner I hit two cars and as a result the steering was damaged. At first I thought it was completely broken, but it was just out of line. I tried to attack as much as I could, but the handling was just gone. I decided to get as much out of it as I could in order to save as much points for the Independents Trophy. This resulted in a 16th place overall and third in the privateers battle. Our focus will be on Brands Hatch from now on. This will be our next race in three weeks time. Our preparation will start next week already when we will test the new Leon. Of course I am anxious to get a taste of it and set another step forward for the rest of the season."