Tom Coronel classified fourth in FIA WTCC race at Slovakia Ring.
Bratislava – In Slovakia, Tom Coronel continued his good performance in the fourth race weekend of the FIA World Touring Car Championship. With his ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze, the 42-year old Dutch driver was classified seventh and fourth in qualifying. In the first race, shortened to eight laps due to continuous rain, he finished fourth. The second race, scheduled to take place much later in the afternoon, was cancelled because of the huge amounts of standing water on the track and the lack of safety guarantees for the drivers as a result. Thus, Coronel's total score in the WTCC drivers' standings remains at 28 points and a tenth position.
At the end of the weekend, Tom Coronel commented: "The car was much better and I had plenty of mileage and a good time driving the car. In the free practice sessions, I was on the pace right away with fourth and seventh place, less than a second down on the front-runners. Slovakia Ring is a very technical track where the right balance between high and low speed is very important. Racking up many kilometres helps to improve your feeling for the car.The race went well. After a good start, there was some contact, but I was able to continue without any damage. I even managed to make up one place and I ended up behind my team-mate Tom Chilton, with whom I battled for many laps. Due to the spray, visibility was limited and I really had to look where I would attack. On the fifth or sixth lap, Tom ran wide and I was able to pass him fairly easily on the inside. Thus, visibility slightly improved as well, but rain got worse and the car started aquaplaning on the straights more and more. Continuing much longer wasn't really responsible.
Even when the safety car was deployed, it was really difficult to keep up. This year's WTCC cars have much wider tyres and this is a circuit with little drainage. Due to the undulation, the water runs to the lower parts and creates very deep puddles. I heard that there was something like 2.7 millimetres of rain falling down as the red flags came out during the first race, and that it was 8.8 millimetres when the decision was made to cancel the second race.
It was really bad. I agree with the decision, because I don't want to think about what could have happened during that race. There is another event in a fortnight and we want to be on the grid there, too. Now, nobody got any damage due to the weather conditions. To be honest, I don't know whether this race will be repeated somewhere some day. All in all, it was a wise decision by the organisers and now we move on to the next races. The car is giving me a good feeling and I am looking forward to it!"