Qualifying pain then rain for fast-lapping WTCR ace Coronel
Tom Coronel was fast but out of luck when he returned to TCR Europe duty at Autodromo Nazionale Monza last weekend.
Dutchman Coronel, a WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup race winner, took his Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS to the fastest time in both practice sessions at the Italian venue. However, hopes of a high starting position were extinguished by an unfortunately-timed red flag in qualifying leaving him P18 on the grid for both races.
After finishing P13 in the rain-hit opening race following contact, he was again forced to battle through the field in the second counter and impressed as he bagged eighth place and the fastest race lap in his DHL-backed entry.
“I was on my way to fifth place when there was a red flag after somebody had gone off the track, 100 metres before I crossed the finish line, so my time was cancelled and I didn’t get any further than 18th place on the grid for both races,” Coronel said of his qualifying frustration.
“Visibility was really bad [in race one so I] was just moving up step by step,” Coronel continued. “But then Sergio López hit me, he drove into my car really hard, so the left rear suspension was bent. There was nothing I could achieve.
“I didn’t take too much risk at the start [of race two] because you always have to be a little bit careful from P18. I got stuck twice, but eventually, I was able to move up nicely and that is how I ended up finishing eighth. This shows that the car was good and that the speed was definitely there, but because of the red flag in qualifying, there was nothing more in it. Too bad, but things like that happen.”
Coronel, who returns to WTCR action in Bahrain in mid-November, is set to contest the TCR Europe season finale at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from October 14-16.
Photo: Tom Coronel.nl