Photo: TCR Europe

Tom Coronel fights back to claim Race 1 win at Zandvoort

Comtoyou Racing’s Tom Coronel claimed his first TCR Europe series victory of the season on home soil at Zandvoort, following a superb battle with pole-sitter Jack Young.

The Audi RS 3 LMS driver got a poor getaway from the front-row of the grid but fought his way back through to catch and pass Young’s Brutal Fish Racing Honda Civic Type-R TCR.

Behind Young was Coronel’s team-mate Dušan Borković who completed the podium in third. All three drivers recorded their first podiums of the year.

Having topped qualifying by just eight-hundredths of a second, Young comfortably led off the line as Coronel appeared to bog down from second.

Coronel was passed by his fast-starting team-mate Nicolas Baert, who leapt from fourth to claim second at Tarzan as Young tried to escape up the road. The contact will be investigated post-race by the stewards.

Young’s efforts were aided considerably after contact between Coronel and Baert occurred on the exit of Turn 10 which forced Baert through the gravel trap as Coronel barged his way through into second.

But Coronel was a man on a mission and closed the gap to Young at the front courtesy of a series of fastest laps in his Audi RS 3 LMS, which made the most of the aero qualities through the second sector.

Coronel was now right on the tail of Young entering the closing stages and made a late divebomb on Young at Turn 9 (Mastersbocht) to snatch the lead from the Honda driver.

Young immediately fought back and tried to go around the outside of Coronel at Tarzan the following lap, utilising the Honda’s superior straight-line speed to close up on the Audi down the main straight.

But Coronel was astute and, once he fended off the attentions of Young, opened up a margin of nearly two second which he nurtured until the finish.

Behind, Borković was an impressive third in the second Comtoyou Audi, while Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Niels Langeveld was once again the beat Hyundai Elantra N in fourth, just ahead of the PSS Racing Honda of Franco Girolami.

Baert was only sixth by the end, ahead of Team Clairet Sport’s Jimmy Clairet and Young’s team-mate Isidro Callejas.

Klim Gavrilov (VRT-Team Audi) and Sami Taoufik (SLR Hyundai) rounded out the top ten finishers.

Next up for TCR Europe is Race 2, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday at 13:10 CEST.