Tom Coronel confirms Honda WTCR programme

Tom Coronel has become the latest driver to be confirmed on the grid for the inaugural season of the new World Touring Car Cup.

The Dutch driver will partner Tiago Monteiro in a Boutsen Ginion Racing-run Honda Civic, bringing to an end his seven year stretch with Roberto Ravaglia’s ROAL Motorsport team.

Coronel has experience of the previous generation Civic, having competed with the Boutsen Ginion team in selected events in the past, and said he was going into the new season with one aim in mind.

“The FIA WTCR is a worthy successor of the FIA WTCC in which I participated every season, but it is fair to say that, from a sporting perspective, I was often making up the numbers in the most recent years,” he said.

“Now, we are facing a new challenge with identical equipment for everybody, at tracks all over the world and for me an excellent situation with a brand-new Honda Civic built by JAS Motorsport and run by Boutsen Ginion; a car that has specially been built for this championship and that allows us to take on the other brands at a level playing field.

“Personally, I reckon that this could very well be the bestseason start of my entire career in touring car racing. It certainly is the best package I have had in the last ten years. I certainly dare to predict that this year, I will be at least able to match the total number of trophies I have scored over the last five years in the FIA WTCC.”

News of Coronel’s deal with the Honda team confirms that ROAL will not feature on the WTCR grid this season – with the Italian team unable to put together a programme for the series.

“For seven years, I have enjoyed a fantastic co-operation with Roberto Ravaglia’s ROAL Motorsport team,” Coronel added. “When the FIA WTCR plans came up, he soon made it clear to me that he would not be able to realise such a project in time, so after years with highs and lows, we split in a harmonious way.

“I will certainly miss Roberto, Aldo Preo and Pietro, who was my engineer for seven years. And the same can be said for the best coffee in the paddock! But now, it is on for a new adventure. I can’t wait to push the throttle in my new Honda.”