Shanghai, September 27, 2015 – The 4.603 kilometres long Shanghai International Circuit was the venue for the 19th and 20th race of the 2015 FIA World Touring Car Championship. It turned out to be a weekend of highs and lows for Tom Coronel with his DHL ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze. He managed to qualify in the top ten with a ninth and a second place on the grid for the two races, but the first race was over for him after a few hundred metres already.
After an excellent start, during which the Dutchman managed to make up some positions and succeeded in avoiding spinning and colliding cars, contact with John Filippi’s car that was rolling backwards meant the end of Coronel’s efforts. The impact damaged the right rear wheel that got loose and ended up underneath the Cruze in yellow DHL colours. That was the untimely end of the weekend that had been quite successful for Coronel up to that point. Disappointment was huge, especially as the tight time schedule didn’t allow for repair of the damage between the races. Time was too short and the damage was simply too heavy, not in the least as a result of the rather clumsy recovery of the car.
“This is really, really annoying,” Tom Coronel comments. “I am really p*** off. It all looked so good. By making the right changes to the car, we were on the place, everything was all right, we had the speed and qualifying went very well. I didn’t make any mistakes and I completed some really good laps. We were in control of all the elements. Thus, I was ninth on the grid for race one and after a rocket start, I was already up in fifth or sixth place. Filippi and Tarquini tangled in the first corner and I had to brake hard, so that Bennani ran into the back of my car and hit Filippi’s car, that was rolling backwards. In the process, the right rear wheel was damaged and ended up underneath the car. When I had got out of the car, I saw that it had even torn a hole in the chassis. I knew right away that this couldn’t be repaired quickly, and that my second place on the grid for the second race was gone up in smoke as a result. What happened afterwards when the car was towed away really was the limit. That only made the damage even bigger! What an amateurish move! Nevertheless, once the car was back in the pits, we had a close look at the damage and we are certain that the car could be ready again for the races in Thailand. So, let’s forget about this weekend and focus on the races in Thailand. When the car is as good there as it was here, it should be possible to finish well up the order,” Coronel says.
Result Race 1: 1. José Maria López 16 laps; 2. Yvan Muller +2.428; 3. Sébastien Loeb (all Citroën C-Elysée) +3.379; 4. Nicky Catsburg (Lada Vesta) +8.905; 5. Mehdi Bennani (Citroën C-Elysée) +13.912 and Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) retired.
Result Race 2: 1. Yvan Muller 14 laps; 2. Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic WTCC) +2.659; 3. José Maria López +2.684; 4. Sébastien Loeb +6.079 (both Citroën C-Elysée) +3.379; 5. Rob Huff (Lada Vesta) +8.366, Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) didn’t start due to the damage on his car.
2015 FIA WTCC calendar:
Thailand (Buriram), 30 October-1 November
Qatar (Losail), 26-27 November
Tom Coronel is being supported in the 2015 FIA WTCC season by: DHL, McGregor, Valvoline, TW Steel -big in oversized watches-, ERU Prestige, Equinix, Amando Face & Body Care, Bouwgroep Dijkstra Draisma, De Wild Multi Print Solutions, ASC Group, Lesonal, Canvassite.nl, Allsecur, Playseat, Intrax, Super B, RSII and CM.