SEAT driver Tom Coronel was hoping for more in FIA WTCC races at Monza After the previous FIA WTCC races at Imola Tom Coronel already knew that he would also have a difficult time at Monza. However in free practice his SEAT Leon TFSi ,prepared...
SEAT driver Tom Coronel was hoping for more in FIA WTCC races at Monza
After the previous FIA WTCC races at Imola Tom Coronel already knew that he would also have a difficult time at Monza. However in free practice his SEAT Leon TFSi ,prepared by the Spanish SunRed team, performed better than expected. However come qualifying the Dutchman lacked the top speed that he needed to battle for a top 8 position. Coronel had to be satisfied with a disappointing 19th place . In both races he finished outside the points by finishing 10th and 24th respectively.
Initially things seemed to be OK. After the previous race at Imola the SunRed technicians and our engine tuner tested the engine and noticed that we were missing about 15 BHp. That is why I was racing with a fresh engine and in free practice it felt OK. I still needed a bit more top speed, but I tried to gain the extra bit by slipstreaming. In the first session we were tenth, which boosted our confidence for qualifying. In this session we were looking to get a good tow in order to gain the final tenths of a second. The team made some changes to the engine mapping, but to no avail. The car started to smoke and 19th place was all we could get. Obviously being so far down on the grid we were not too optimistic for the race, but on the other hand this is Monza and quite often things get quite hectic in the first corners here right after the start. This is exactly what happened. Everybody was storming towards the first chicane and several people spun there, so it was no problem to use the escape roads or the shortcuts. All of a sudden I was in ninth place, much to my surprise. However it was difficult to hold on to that position as I was lacking top speed and some drivers I passed earlier managed to get back on me. In the end I finished in 11th place, but I was promoted to tenth after Rickard Rydell was penalized for his action on Larini. In this race I was warned already that there was something wrong with the engine as sometimes the oil warning light was on, but we decided to take the risk and start the second race as planned. Also in this race I tried to catch the slipstreams in order to move up some places. However this did not quite work out. First of all I got a big push from Stefano d'Aste. After that I had a good fight with James Thompson, but it was getting more and more difficult to keep up with him. The oil light was now on for most of the time so we decided to abandon the race and not risking an engine damage. Now the engineers have the possibility to investigate the problem and find a solution for it.
After this somewhat disappointing weekend Tom Coronel is already looking forward to the next FIA WTCC weekend. "We will go to Japan. For me it is always a pleasure to go there, as I have a lot of nice memories from my Formula 3, Formula Nippon and Super GT days there. We will go to the track where I made my first kilometers in Japanese Formula 3. In Super GT I won twice from pole position there, so let's use this as a benchmark and hope that we can score some more points".
Tom Coronel is supported in the FIA-WTCC by: SEAT-importer Pon Car, Club SEAT, McGregor, ATP Advanced Travel Partner, TW Steel watches, Olympia Staffing, Auto Trader, VVS Insurances, Plasmadiscounter.nl and Wielengids.nl.