A strong package for Tom Coronel with SEAT in WTCC Leusden (NL) - For the fourth consecutive year, Dutch driver, Tom Coronel, will be racing a SEAT in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). With backing of Dutch SEAT importer, Pon ...
A strong package for Tom Coronel with SEAT in WTCC
Leusden (NL) - For the fourth consecutive year, Dutch driver, Tom Coronel, will be racing a SEAT in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). With backing of Dutch SEAT importer, Pon Car, Coronel will be racing a SEAT Leon 2.0 FSI, run by Spanish team, SUNRED. This team has some close links to SEAT Sport and is located only a stone's throw away from the factory in Martorell near Barcelona. "I am delighted that, thanks to the enthusiastic involvement of the Dutch SEAT organisation, I am able to race again in the WTCC this year", says Tom Coronel. "For me, this is the most beautiful championship there is and on top of that, I have the best package I have had to date."
After three successful seasons with British team, GR Asia, during which Coronel claimed the championship tile in the Yokohama Independents' Trophy, the separate classification for privateer drivers in the WTCC in 2006, he will now be switching to the Spanish SUNRED team. Tom Coronel explains: "SUNRED has a vast experience in motor racing. For instance, they entered five cars in last year's Spanish SEAT Leon Supercopa and they also raced a self-developed prototype in the Spanish GT championship. During last year's WTCC season finale in Macau, SUNRED also ran Rickard Rydell's Leon on behalf of SEAT Sport."
Coronel optimistic about his chances
Coronel is optimistic about his chances in the coming season, that will start at Curitiba in Brazil on March 2. "First of all because I will be taking part in the official FIA test sessions this season, which allows me to rack up mileage with the car outside of the races. That wasn't the case in previous years. Moreover, I see extra opportunities because recent changes in the technical regulations enhance the chances of the SEATs with petrol engines, whereas restrictions have been put in place for the diesel-powered cars. For instance, the SEAT Leon FSIs are allowed to keep their flat underfloor and their weight advantage. The diesel cars, on the other hand, must drop their flat underfloor, will have more weight and their turbo boost is also being monitored. SEAT will also continue development work on the petrol engine, so it looks quite good!"
Yellow with orange accents
In recent years, Tom Coronel's orange SEAT Leon has become a familiar sight in the multicoloured field of the WTCC, next to the World Rally Championship and the Formula 1 World Championship one of only three official world championship series sanctioned by the FIA. In the twelve race weekends of the 2008 season, Tom Coronel's SEAT Leon will be sporting a livery that is predominantly yellow, SEAT's familiar racing colour. However, there will be some orange accents on the car. Just like last year, "Club SEAT" has a dominant position on the car, sub-sponsors are VVS Insurance, Autotrader, ATP Advanced Travel Partner, Wielengids.nl, McGregor and TW Steel.
Japanese circuit of Okayama new on the calendar
Next to most of the circuits that already featured on the calendar last year, the championship is returning to the circuit of Puebla in Mexico this season. New for this year is the circuit of Okayama in Japan. Coronel knows this circuit very well from the years he spent racing in Japan. "I am really looking forward to returning to Japan", he says. All races of the WTCC will be broadcast live on Eurosport. Dutch station, RTL 7, will be producing its own race coverage with a lot of background information as part of its RTL GP programme. RTL 7 has scheduled twelve race broadcasts plus an extensive preview before the first race and a season review at the end of the year.