The Showman must go on: Coronel confirms WTCR glory chase
Tom Coronel might be in disguise with his unique camouflage livery, but there’s no hiding his desire to achieve further success in the WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup.
After his return to the top of the WTCR podium last season, Coronel is back in a second-generation Audi RS 3 LMS on Goodyear tyres and run by Belgian squad Comtoyou Racing under the Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport banner.
Following his on-track success in 2020 when he went beyond 500 starts in touring car racing, the 48-year-old from Eemnes near Amsterdam in The Netherlands has his eyes fixed on more WTCR silverware this season, his 32nd behind the wheel.
“I sometimes say that WTCR really stands for ‘World of Tom Coronel Racing’, so this is where I belong,” said Coronel, who earned The Showman moniker for his charisma and effervescent personality. “I am delighted that it has all worked out again for this season thanks to the support of numerous valuable partners, DHL first and foremost. When I can’t race, I go crazy! Racing simply is the thing I love doing most.”
Coronel comfortable at Comtoyou… but keen to keep moving
“I am feeling very comfortable, both within the team and in the WTCR,” said Coronel, who is embarking on his third season with Jean-Michel Baert’s multiple race-winning Comtoyou team. “After all, I am the driver with the highest number of races in this series, the European Touring Car Championship since 2001, the World Touring Car Championship since 2005 and WTCR since 2018. Last year, things were going particularly well: I have shown that I am still able to compete for podium results and race wins at this level, like at Slovakia Ring. Halfway through the season, I was in second place of the drivers’ standings. Of course, that is something I want to build on this season.”
Audi’s all good
“The Audi is one of the most successful touring cars in TCR with almost 280 race wins from 1051 participations worldwide in the past four years,” Coronel explained. “Now, the car has been improved in many aspects, both in on-track handling and opportunities for adjustment by the team’s technicians. In fact, the car is so new that we will be racing with a special camouflage livery during the first two events of the season because the car isn’t even commercially available at that time.”
Gavory: Coronel puts his heart and soul into everything he does
“He might be joking when he says WTCR really stands for ‘World of Tom Coronel Racing’, but he certainly puts his heart and soul into everything he does within the series, which has only helped to make the WTCR the ongoing success that it is,” said Xavier Gavory, the WTCR Director. “It’s always an important moment when Tom announces his programme for the season ahead because it’s something he’s been doing since the World Touring Car name was revived for 2005 and for many seasons before that. We are privileged we can still count on Tom’s participation.”
Comtoyou’s Verbist super-happy to keep on with Tom
“I am super-happy that Tom is with us for this exciting new project together with Audi Sport,” said Comtoyou Racing Team Manager François Verbist. “This will be our fourth year in FIA WTCR and our third year with Tom. Because of the new car, 2021 will be a special season. We can also benefit from Tom’s vast experience in touring car racing to finish the development of this beautiful car. I was already happy with the performance in 2020 and the goal is to be even stronger this year. For Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport, the aim is the WTCR title in 2021.”
Coronel “going the extra mile” for DHL
DHL is preparing for its seventh consecutive year as Coronel’s main partner. “Tom is a joy to work with,” said DHL CEO John Pearson. “He always goes the extra mile and he also over-delivers on our one-off requests. This could be our lucky seventh year. I am proud of our cooperation with Tom and I wish him a lot of success for the upcoming season.”
Customer Coronel makes Audi Sport’s Reinke proud
“Tom Coronel is one of the most profiled touring car drivers of our time,” said Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “He has competed in more than 500 touring car races in his career so far. Since last year, he has been relying on the Audi RS 3 LMS and we are proud that he chose Audi again this year. Tom is an extremely fair sportsman and a great motorsport ambassador far beyond his Dutch homeland. He is a character and is respected by all competitors.”
Key partners on board
Tom Coronel’s WTCR bid is supported by DHL, Eurol Lubricants, Tricorp Workwear, ERU Prestige Kaas voor Kerels, Ireckonu, Business Data Challengers, Bouwgroep Dijkstra Draisma, Intrax Suspension Technology, 4.Brands, ASC Group, P1 Advanced Racewear, FEBO, CM and Copernica.
WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup 2021 calendar
Rounds 1 and 2: WTCR Race of Germany, Nürburgring Nordschleife: June 3-5
Rounds 3 and 4: WTCR Race of Portugal, Vila Real: June 26-27
Rounds 5 and 6: WTCR Race of Spain, MotorLand Aragón: July 10-11
Rounds 7 and 8: WTCR Race of Italy, Adria International Raceway: July 31-August 1
Rounds 9 and 10: WTCR Race of Hungary, Hungaroring: August 21-22
Rounds 11 and 12: WTCR Race of South Korea, Inje Speedium: October 16-17
Rounds 13 and 14: WTCR Race of China, Venue TBC: November 6-7
Rounds 15 and 16: WTCR Race of Macau, Circuito da Guia: November 19-21