Coronel’s advice for WTCR Macau rookies: don't be too eager at the start
Tom Coronel has offered words of advice to the six drivers with all-season status racing at Macau for the first time in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO this week.
Coronel, whose experience of Macau’s Circuito da Guia dates back more than 20 years, said a steady start was key to success on the world’s most challenging street track.
“You have to build up to it and don’t be too aggressive,” said the Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing driver. “All the people that get there for the first time they get eager in the first session but you are always four or five seconds too slow but that’s because they don’t know the track and you need the knowledge. But if you try to give something more too early then you are in trouble. And once you are in trouble in Macau you never get out of it and this is the confidence mindset for Macau.
“In Mandarin corner for example, you know it’s flat, one lap with new tyres, but you’ve never done it flat but you have to take it flat because otherwise in the qualifying you are nowhere. You need confidence to do this and without confidence you are one step down and you never get it back.
“Once you have a problem you will carry it like a backpack full with led for the rest of the weekend. You have to get in the Macau mode, feel the atmosphere and taste the track, the bumpiness, to absorb the tension of the whole situation at Macau. This is such a special feeling you never have that at a normal race track. Macau is another step.”
Of the 26 drivers racing at Macau with all-season status six are Circuito da Guia rookies. They are Mikel Azcona, Luca Engstler, Johan Kristoffersson, Niels Langeveld, Benjamin Leuchter and Attila Tassi.