SEAT Driver Tom Coronel survives French rain The weather in the French Pyrenees can be very changeable, which was demonstrated today to the participants of the FIA WTCC. During the seventh and eighth round of the World Touring Car Championship...
SEAT Driver Tom Coronel survives French rain
The weather in the French Pyrenees can be very changeable, which was demonstrated today to the participants of the FIA WTCC. During the seventh and eighth round of the World Touring Car Championship the rain was pouring down and made the streetcircuit of Pau look like a rowing track. Unfortunately Dutch SEAT driver Tom Coronel was unable to get the maximum out of the changeable weather conditions. He managed to set a third fastest time in one of the free practice sessions, but in the all important qualifying practice he ended up in thirteenth place. The first race was held under sunny conditions, but was still very hectic. The Dutchman ended the race in his Sunred prepared SEAT Leon TFSi in 14th place. The second race of the day was held in the wet and brought a ninth place for Coronel.
Tom summarizes his weekend as follows: "We started off OK. I ended the first free practice session in ninth place, which is somewhat higher than usual. The second session was half wet half dry which resulted in a third place right after the two BMW's. A great result of course, especially with the weather forecasts being more or less the same for the rest of the weekend. Unfortunately for me qualifying was completely dry. I missed too much and ended up in 14th place, which was a bit disappointing. The laps were perfect but we were just not quick enough. We were the fastest SEAT petrol runners however. The warm up session was better again with a half wet half dry track.
Despite the dry track things went wrong in the first lap of the first race. I had a good start and I saw trouble coming up so I decided to take the outside line. Immediately I moved up three positions, but unfortunately the race was stopped as there were too much damaged cars on the track. Then the restart took place, but it was based on the first timing point on the track. Too bad for me as I was still in 14th position there. It was to be a boring race for all of us which brought me 14th place.
Half an hour before the second race it started to rain which brought a smile to my face. We did three laps behind the safety car before the race was actually started. It was a good decision to do it like this as there was an awful lot of water on the track and the only thing you could see were the lights of the car ahead of you. When we got underway things went fine for me. On the third lap I overtook Monteiro and right after that I started to attack Zanardi. He outbraked himself and overshot the corner. Then I was behind Jorg Muller who did more or less the same. However he managed to come back and overtook me again. Not for long as one lap later I was ahead of him again. In the closing stages I even was the fastest out on the track, but there was nobody near me I could fight with. So I stayed in ninth place which means no points for the championship. That's a bit of a shame as I actually hoped we could get some here. The next race will be at Brno in the Czech Republic. We hope to get an updated engine there which should bring an extra 10 BHp. Probably it is not enough to win races, but it should certainly help to score some more points", Tom Coronel said afterwards.
-credit: tom coronel