After struggling throughout practice, qualifying and the morning warm up, Dutchman Tom Coronel put on two valiant charges through the field to drive up to eighth and fifth in Sunday’s races at Sonoma Raceway, California.
Tom Coronel had qualified in 20th place for race one, which became 18th for race two after James Nash and Pepe Oriola were forced to start from the back after extended repairs during parc ferme, and the ROAL Motorsport driver discovered new-found pace in his car to charge up the order and into the points for both races.
“I was strong in the race, I don’t know where the power came from,” said a jubilant Coronel to TouringCarTimes. “It looked really really good, I went from P20 to P8 even though I went off one time. Also in the second race I went off one time, so yeah, it was good. I was really surprised.”
“I never thought we’d be able to get points. I was having fun…I was fighting, attacking, I was making SWAT analyses when I was behind somebody, going ‘wait, wait’ and then ‘now’. I said to my engineer I wanted to pass Tiago (Monteiro), and he said wait, and on the last lap I got him.”
Coronel’s drive through the field echoed his achievement at the Hungaroring in May, when he started 21st after the car was excluded from qualifying, but drove up to sixth in the first race on old tyres, keeping his new tyres for Austria with the Hungary weekend deemed a write-off.
“We did the same as Hungary, I kept my new tyres for Japan!” said Coronel. “I was even driving on old tyres, not the new tyres.”
Looking ahead to Japan, Coronel is hopeful of strong results.
“I’m always successful in Japan somehow, because it’s my second home country, I’ve had my success in motor-racing there, I won my two races in the WTCC in Japan, so why not.”
Coronel’s race weekend summary video can be viewed below: