Moscow, 8 June, 2014 - In qualifying for the tenth and eleventh round of the FIA WTCC, Tom Coronel didn't manage to repeat his good performance from free practice in which he ended up third and fifth. On his decisive flying qualifying lap, he had to cope with massive oversteer in his ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze and only scored 13th place on the grid for both races, leaving him out for second and third qualifying.
A good start in the first race saw the 42-year old Dutch driver move up three places right away and this tenth position changed into ninth place soon after that. After overtaking Michelisz halfway through the race, Coronel crossed the finish line in eighth position. After the opening lap of the second race at the almost four kilometres long Moscow Raceway, Coronel was in tenth place. However, his progress didn't stop there. After Sébastien Loeb suffered from oversteer, ROAL team-mate Tom Chilton got off the track and front-runner Hugo Valente was given a drive-through penalty, the Dutchman was sixth.
A retirement and oversteer for two of the Hondas that were running in front of him, Coronel moved up another two positions. A podium finish was within reach, but the best-placed Chevrolet Cruze driver just missed out on a top three classification. Nevertheless, Tom Coronel added more valuable points to his total world championship score. In the drivers' standings, he moved up to sixth with a total of 74 points.
After the races, Tom Coronel said: "At the end of the day, I can only be very happy with these results. It was really disappointing that I didn't do any better than 13th place in qualifying. That is definitely not where I belong. In free practice, I was classified third and fifth and fifth or sixth position was our goal for qualifying. It all went wrong on my final lap. I had massive oversteer and lost valuable time, just as the others were going faster. There was no time left to improve because the session was over and I was really disappointed. It wasn't good, but there was nothing I could do anymore.
I knew, however, that my car was god and very consistent and with that knowledge, I started the two races. My aim was to keep damage limited as much as possible. I had a good start in the first race and moved up quite a few positions right away and after that, it was a question of clever driving and looking for opportunities. Eighth place was a good result. In the second race, I made another good start, I gained some positions and after that, I was battling with Loeb and Bennani. I enjoyed the battles and I was able to keep up because my car was consistent. In front of me, some people went off the track and dropped back and I was fourth in the closing stages of the race. A podium finish was within reach. I tried, but I fell five metres short of Bennani.
The good thing is that we kept damage in the drivers' standings limited and I even moved up one position in the world championship. On top of that, we still have one fresh set of tyres left, which helps for the upcoming races. These will be held at Spa-Francorchamps in a fortnight, an event that I am considering as my home race. I expect many fans to be there and I want to show a good performance there. That is what we are focussing on and the car handles really well. I am looking forward to it and I really hope to score a podium finish there!"
Result race 1: 1. Jose Maria Lopez (Citroën Racing C-Elysee) 16 laps in 27:05.120; 2. Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic WTCC) +3.170; 3. Sebastien Loeb +3.425; 4. Yvan Muller (both Citroën Racing C-Elysee) +5.902; 5.Tom Chilton (Roal Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze) +6.816 and 8. Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze) +15.061.
Result race 2: 1. Ma Qing Hua 16 laps in 27:11.310; 2. Yvan Muller +1.261 (both Citroën Racing C-Elysee); 3. Mehdi Bennani (Honda Civic WTCC) +12.252; 4.Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze) +12.424; 5. Sebastien Loeb (Citroen Racing C-Elysee) +14.725 and 6. Tom Chilton (Roal Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze) +14.890.
Standings after 11 rounds: 1. José Maria Lopez 209 points; 2. Yvan Muller 168; 3. Sébastien Loeb 161; 4. Tiago Monteiro 105 and 6. Tom Coronel 74.
2014 FIA WTCC calendar*
Belgium June 21-22
Argentina August 2-3
United States September 13-14
China October 11-12
Japan October 25-26
Macau November 14-16
(*subject to change)
In the FIA WTCC 2014 season, Tom Coronel is being supported by:
ROAL Motorsport, McGregor, TW Steel -big in oversized watches-, Valvoline, DHL, Equinix, Amando Face & Body Care, AkzoNobel Lesonal, De Wild Multi Print Solutions, AllSecur, ATP Event Experts, Bouwgroep Dijkstra Draisma, Super B, Intrax, Playseat, CM, Sparco en Uw Mooiste Foto.nl.