Mixed results for Tom Coronel in Moroccan races For the first time in history the FIA WTCC series raced on African soil. The Moroccan city of Marrakech hosted the third round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship. SEAT Team Holland driver...
Mixed results for Tom Coronel in Moroccan races
For the first time in history the FIA WTCC series raced on African soil. The Moroccan city of Marrakech hosted the third round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship. SEAT Team Holland driver Tom Coronel took part in the two races over 12 laps each with mixed results. In free practice the Dutch driver took his SEAT Leon TFSi prepared by SUNRED to solid top 10 times in all of the sessions. However in qualifying Coronel was disappointed to end up in 16th place. This did not discourage him however as he had a strong start and managed to gain several places in the first race. In the final stages of the race Tom crashed after battling for 12th place with BMW works driver Augusto Farfus. Coronel started the second race from the back of the grid. A strong race brought him up to ninth place in the end. In the standings for the Yokohama Independents Trophy the Dutch SEAT driver is now in third place.
"We were right up there in all of the free practice sessions", Tom Coronel said afterwards. "We were quick, but we still saved much of our tyres. We wanted to keep them fresh for the second qualifying session. However we could not repeat the top 8 positions we had in the free sessions. Shortly after the first time I left the pits the reds flags came out, so that ended my first run. The second time I went out there was a yellow flag, so our timing was not that good, which explains our 16th place in qualifying. Third place in the morning warm up confirmed our pace and at the same time our ill faith in qualifying. Starting from P16 means that you have a big chance of running into a pile up at the start. Especially here at the start everybody is fighting for a good position as overtaking is very hard here. With its long straights and chicanes there are very little overtaking opportunities at this circuit, so you best chance of improving your position is to take some more risk at the start of the race. In my quest to move up through the field I brushed the wall in the early stage of the race, but I was able to continue without any major damage. Towards the end I was close behind Augusto Farfus in the BMW. Three times we were racing side by side, but in an effort to pass him I made a mistake. I hit the kerb and went sideways into the wall and the tyre barriers. After I restarted the car and rejoined the race there was nothing else to do than completing my laps and finishing in last position. Thus I started the second race from the back of the grid, but soon after the start I saw things getting wrong in front of me. I chose a good racing line and immediately gained some places. After that I was behind another privateer, Franz Engstler, but I decided not to take any further risks. No further damage and make it to the finish, and that's what I did. I finished the race in ninth place overall and second in the privateers battle. Some points for the Independents trophy as a consolidation, but we did not get the best out of this weekend. It's a shame we did not use our outright pace when it really mattered", Tom Coronel concludes.