Tom Coronel and Seat Holland team score first points in WTCC The famous racetrack of Monza was the stage for the first round of the brand new FIA World Touringcar Championship. The WTCC, in which six car manufacturers take part, ...
Tom Coronel and Seat Holland team score first points in WTCC
The famous racetrack of Monza was the stage for the first round of the brand new FIA World Touringcar Championship. The WTCC, in which six car manufacturers take part, succeeds the European Championship. Dutchman Tom Coronel will race for the SEAT Holland Team this year.
The GR Asia team will prepare the SEAT Toledo Cupra he will have at his disposal for the ten rounds of the WTCC. For Tom it is the first time since long that he will race a front wheel driven car on a regular basis. After a hectic practice session the Dutchman had to be satisfied with 20th place in qualifying. His first race brought him up to 15th place overall, while the second ended prematurely due to a broken driveshaft.
In the Michelin Independents Trophy the SEAT Holland Team driver took third place in the first race and scored his first World Championship points with this. Exactly ten days before the start of the WTCC Tom Coronel, the Dutch SEAT organisation and the British team of Paul Ridgeway clinched the deal.
"Of course it is a bite late, but I am really happy with it", Tom said. "The Friday before the race I actually saw the Toledo for the first time. I was immediately impressed with the way the car was built up. It looked great straight out of the box. You can really see that some experienced people had been at work here. Now it was my turn to get used to the car as soon as I could. It was raining quite heavily during free practice so I had to come in to the pits quite frequently anyway to have my windscreen cleaned. Between the stints I had enough time to learn the car. Of course it is the most important thing for a driver to feel every tiny bit of the car. Second practice was amazing. I took fourth and was the fastest SEAT driver on my first day as a SEAT driver. Really great! Also it was good to see people from SEAT Sport popping in and out of our pitbox to help us out when needed.
"Qualifying was dry which was another thing to get used to as I had never driven the car on a dry track, so I had to get used again to the car's behaviour". Tom managed to set the 20th time in qualifying. According to himself it was about 7 to 8 places down on the position where he should have qualified.
"When I went out on new tyres there was a red flag on my first lap so I had to come back in and the best of my tyres was gone. I thing 12th or 13th was realistic if you look at our practise results", Tom said. "I had a reasonable start in the first race. It could certainly be better, but I managed to keep my position. After the first lap I slowly worked my way up through the field. In the end I was 15th and third of the privateers. It could even have been one place higher. I was looking at the guy in front of me and I was sure to overtake him on the next lap. However I was surprised by the finish flag which I expected a lap later!"
The Dutch driver was in full swing for the second race, in which he had a far better start. "It was going well. I was second in the privateers battle, but then the drive shaft broke. That was the end of the race for me, unfortunately for us but it is also a part of racing", Tom said. "All in all I am quite impressed with the Toledo Cupra. "It is a car with a lot op potential. I really want to show some nice things with it this year. I am extremely grateful to SEAT in the Netherlands for giving me this opportunity!"
The next race of the WTCC will take place at Magny Cours on 1 May. Dutch TV viewers can watch Tom Coronel in the SBS6 program RaceXperience in which he presents the Auto Emocion part which is totally dedicated to the International and Dutch National Racing activities of SEAT.
Tom Coronel is supported this year by SEAT-Pon Car, BBS, McGregor and Splitfire Sparkplugs.