Tom Coronel will be back for his ninth consecutive season in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, and his third with the Italian ROAL Motorsport team, behind the wheel of the BMW 320 TC.
The 40-year-old Dutch driver has been in the WTCC since it began in 2005, as well as for three seasons in the preceding European Touring Car Championship, and will return to the grid with the Italian-based ROAL Motorsport team behind the wheel of the BMW 320 TC E90, which is powered by BMW Motorsport’s 1.6 litre turbocharged engine.
The Dutch driver finished in fifth place in the standings last season, but with the withdrawal of the factory Chevrolet team and the new works Honda squad having to find their feet fast, Coronel’s target is to become the first non-factory driver to win the World Touring Car Championship drivers’ title.
“There is no doubt about it, economic conditions are difficult. Fortunately, most of my sponsors are remaining on board for 2013 and we also have succeeded in attracting a few new ones,” said Coronel.
“With ROAL Motorsport, we are aiming at top three results in the races and in the championship. We are very well used to each other within the team, the cars are perfectly prepared and after changes in the regulations, front-wheel driven cars no longer have any advantages in terms of weight. Of course, the opposition has been working hard, too. Honda, for instance, is joining the series with its own works-team, but I am very confident that we can be among the front runners for this year.”