Photo: TCR Europe

Tom Coronel thrilled to end 22-year wait for touring car title

Tom Coronel was typically charismatic as he provided his first reactions to winning the 2023 TCR Europe title, his first overall championship crown in touring car racing.

The Comtoyou Racing driver sealed the title by finishing fourth in the final race of the season at Barcelona, but was invited onto the podium to complete his typical jump off it – and at the photographers – which has become his customary celebration.

He then spoke about the feeling of being champion, something he last felt fully in the 20th century and a long-awaited coronation moment after switching from single-seaters to touring cars in 2001.

“Not bad, huh? Not bad for a 50-year old, grey and bald person!” Coronel said, after a season in which he took one victory, one pole, two fastest laps and five podiums in total.

“I’m so long in touring cars, I’ve been here since 2001, I’ve done all the championships like ETCR, World Touring Car Championship, European Touring Car Championship, World Touring Car Cup and TCR Europe; whatever it was called it was always the same competition, it has always been the same cars, the same circuits, the same organisation.

“It’s great that I can finally win the championship but not just a privateer championship but the real European one. My last title was the Formula Nippon in Japan in 1999, so it’s great after 24 years to take a title back home!”

Coronel has not announced his racing plans for 2024, but it’s safe to say he will be looking for a new challenge and he’s probably too old now to consider a single-seater return.