Tom Coronel quickest in super close final practice of 2023 TCR Europe season
TCR Europe points leader Tom Coronel topped the timesheet in the final practice session of the season on Friday afternoon at Barcelona.
As in the morning’s practice session there were only 13 cars that took part, despite 15 names appearing on the entry list, and Comtoyou Racing’s Nicola Baldan led the way at first with a 1:52.269.
He improved to 1:52.095 to keep himself on top, then teammate John Filippi lowered the pace to 1:50.268 while Kobe Pauwels also bettered Baldan to form a Comtoyou 1-2-3.
It was a top four lockout for Comtoyou 11 minutes into the session, while Coronel was still yet to set a representative lap.
With six-and-a-half minutes to go there was change at the top as MA:GP’s Viktor Andersson, who had been fastest in first practice, set a 1:49.996 to go fastest by a thousandth of a second over Pauwels. Brown improved in fourth, but was shuffled down to sixth three minute later as Nicola Baldan (Comtoyou) and Ruben Volt (ALM Motorsport) went fourth and fifth fastest.
Coronel had now lapped at pace, but was over 1.5s slower than Andersson, and with a minute left of practice he finally showed what he was actually capable of in his Audi RS3 LMS as he went to the top of the timesheet by 0.037s.
He stayed in first place until the finish, by which point he was already in the pits. Brown reclaimed fourth place by lapping 0.132s off Coronel’s new benchmark and was one of five drivers to be on track when the chequered flag waved.
Andersson in his Lynk & Co 03 TCR was the only non-Audi driver in the top six, with Volt the next best down in seventh in his Honda Civic Type R TCR. The top 11 in the session were split by 0.971s on pace.
Qualifying starts at 11:30 CEST on Saturday.