The first race weekend of the season in the TCR Europe Series and Tom Coronel has already secured his first podium finish.
In the second race of the touring car series at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão in Portugal, the Dutch driver finished in third place with the Audi RS 3 LMS in the DHL livery, entered by the Belgian team Comtoyou Racing.
“Right away another cup to take home, that’s a great start to the season! Hopefully we can repeat that a few more times”, Coronel beamed under the Portuguese sun.
Tom Coronel is very pleased to be back in the TCR Europe Series again this year. “A nice series, good organisation, a good mutual atmosphere and a good field”, he says. “It’s competitive, the differences are small and the racing is fun. Real classic touring car racing, which I love!”
In the week leading up to the race weekend, the drivers and teams were already able to test, which was positive for Coronel. “We’re having a good time,” he said. That image was confirmed during the free practice sessions, in which the only Dutch rider in the field set the seventh and tenth time. In the first qualifying, which determines the starting grid for the second race with a reversed grid, Coronel set the sixth fastest time. In the second qualifying, in which the starting places for the first race are divided, he finished seventh. “It’s very close together, but that’s what makes it fun,” he said.
Coronel got away well from seventh on the grid. His account: “I was sitting between the two Cupras of Isidro Callejas and Klim Gavrilov, who were ahead of me on the grid, but when I was in between, I had to step off the gas for a while. That was a shame, because it allowed Josh Files to get through. We touched briefly and as a result I lost touch a little bit, and that was basically the race. Not much happened after that. I noticed that the tires deteriorated a bit faster: if you drive directly behind someone, you wear out your tires faster and you have to take it easy for two laps before you can try again. For the rest I am not dissatisfied, but it was not a very spectacular race.”
In the second race, Coronel already had a good starting position with fourth place on the grid and he was able to maintain his position in the leading group right from the start. Due to a safety car intervention, no overtaking actions were possible in the initial phase, but once the race was cleared again, Coronel attacked Frenchman John Filippi in the battle for third place. He succeeded in the eighth lap: Coronel passed Filippi from the slipstream and thus took over third place, which he defended until the finish. “Great that it worked again! I had a good start, stayed well on the inside. I was right to get Files and then I had to attack Philippi. In the end I was able to brake him out, but at the end I had problems with a lot of understeer. Fortunately, I was able to defend well and so we go home with a cup!”
In Portimão, the TCR Europe Series was the support act for the DTM for the first time, with the series returning twice this year, at the Norisring and the Nürburgring. The DTM organization had asked Tom Coronel to take over the Instagram channel of the German series on the grid for the DTM race on Saturday, which Coronel was happy to do. “Best grid presentation ever? Love this guy!” was the response from the DTM’s social media department. Next week, Coronel will start the season of the FIA WTCR – World Touring Car Cup, on the street circuit in Pau in southwestern France.
Tom Coronel is supported by: DHL, Eurol Lubricants, Tricorp Workwear, ERU Prestige, Ireckonu, Business Data Challengers, Bouwgroep Dijkstra Draisma, Patina, Oranjedak, Intrax Suspension Technology, API-4-BRANDS, ASC Group, P1 Advanced Racewear, Australian Footwear , Super B, FEBO, CM and Copernica.
TCR Europe & FIA WTCR 2022 kalender
7 – 8 mei, Pau Ville, Frankrijk (WTCR)
21 – 22 mei, Circuit Paul Ricard, Frankrijk (TCR)
26 – 28 mei, Nürburgring Nordschleife, Duitsland (WTCR)
11 – 12 juni, Hungaroring, Hongarije (WTCR)
18 – 19 juni, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, België (TCR)
25 – 26 juni, Motorland Aragón, Spanje (WTCR)
2 – 3 juli, Norisring, Duitsland (TCR)
2 – 3 juli, Vila Real, Portugal (WTCR)
23 – 24 juli, Autodromo Vallelunga, Italië (WTCR)
6 – 7 augustus, Anneau du Rhin, Frankrijk (WTCR)
27 – 28 augustus, Nürburgring, Duitsland (TCR)
23 – 25 september, Monza ENI Circuit, Italië (TCR)
8 – 9 oktober, Inje Speedium, Zuid Korea (WTCR)
15 – 16 oktober, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spanje (TCR)
5 – 6 november, Ningbo, China (WTCR)
18 – 20 november, Circuito Da Guia, Macau (WTCR)