EEMNES (June 30, 2016) – With the race season going on in full swing, Tom Coronel is not a person to spend too many weekends at home. And when the opportunity arises to take part in a real classic motorsport event, he never takes long to say ‘yes’. Thus, the Dutch driver, a two times’ race winner in the current FIA World Touring Car Championship season, will be on the grid for this year’s Super TC2000 Buenos Aires 200 Kilometres, scheduled for July 31. Coronel will be driving an Escudería FE Peugeot 408. He will be sharing driving duties with Luciano Farroni, the 2015 TC2000 runner-up. “The Buenos Aires 200 Kilometres is a motorsport event with a long heritage and this year, it takes place one week before we race in Argentina with the FIA World Touring Car Championship, so it was an opportunity too good to miss,” Coronel explains.
Argentina is by no means uncharted territory for Tom Coronel: “We have raced there several times with the FIA World Touring Car Championship and I visited the country on numerous occasions for the Dakar rally,” he says. Coronel met the Escudería FE team principal when competing in a round of the German VLN endurance series at the Nürburgring earlier this year. “During this meeting, we discussed the possibility for me to race in the Buenos Aires 200 Kilometres and that sounded very interesting to me. The only thing is that I have to miss out on a few days of our family holiday during the WTCC summer break, but even my fiancée Paulien immediately said that I should do it, so who am I to say no?”
The Super TC2000 race cars have tubular frames, spec engines and brand-specific bodywork. “The engine power is a little higher than that of our WTCC cars and the engines rev up to 12,000 rpm, so they are genuine competition cars,” Coronel says. “I asked my good friend, Argentine racing driver Norberto Fontana, for his opinion and he also said that I had to do it because he was certain that I am going to have a good time there!”
Coronel is by no means the first driver from the ranks of the WTCC to compete in the Buenos Aires 200 Kilometres. In the past, local hero José María López, Alain Menu, Yvan Muller, Rob Huff, Gabriele Tarquini and Nicola Larini all took part in the event, as did other international top drivers such as Luciano Burti, Christian Fittipaldi, Kelvin Burt and Nicolas Minassian. “There are not too many Dutch drivers who have raced there, so that is something special,” Coronel emphasises.
Based just a few miles south of Buenos Aires, Escudería FE has been competing in the Super TC2000 series since 2013 and is considered as a semi-works outfit for Peugeot, running four Peugeot 408 cars in the category. In 2015, the team scored one overall race win and one pole position.
Tom Coronel is looking forward to this new challenge. “I always love to be in Argentina. It is a great country with friendly people who are really passionate about motorsport. I expect a good crowd and a great atmosphere, and what better way could there be for me to prepare for the WTCC round the following weekend at Termas de Rio Hondo?”