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Fia WTCC

Tom Coronel escapes unscathed after heavy crash in FIA WTCC Vila Real Portugal

Gepubliceerd op 26 June 2017


Tom Coronel escapes unscathed after heavy crash in FIA WTCC Vila Real Portugal">

De reden van het breken van die bouten is niet bekend. Zelf heb ik het een keer eerder gehad in Qatar, collega-rijders Fillipi, Valente en Bennani hebben het ook een keer meegemaakt. Er is gezocht naar de oorzaak, maar die is niet bekend. Door de enorme klap stond de motor overdwars, was de complete voorwielophanging kapot en hebben carrosserie en chassis veel schade opgelopen. De auto was echt zo krom als een banaan. Hier op het circuit zijn de monteurs van ROAL Motorsport al begonnen met de demontage van de beschadigde delen. Nog voor de races zijn ze met de truck en het wrak naar Barcelona gereden, waar bij de collega’s van Campos Motorsport de auto opnieuw opgebouwd zal worden voor het tweede deel van het seizoen. Campos heeft nog twee van die auto’s staan waar we onderdelen van af kunnen halen en zij hebben ook twee extra monteurs toegezegd om aan de tijddruk te kunnen voldoen. Punt is namelijk dat dinsdag over een week de raceauto’s in Frankfurt afgeleverd moeten worden voor de overtocht naar Argentinië. Daar staat de volgende race gepland. Er moet dus nog veel gebeuren om alles op tijd af te krijgen, maar iedereen heeft mij verzekerd er vertrouwen in te hebben.

 


Gelukkig ben ik vrij snel na het gebeurde door de fysiotherapeute van Tiago Monteiro stevig maar goed behandeld en heb ik een dag na het gebeurde nog steeds niet al te veel last van de klap. Waar ik het meest van baal is dat je hier op de startgrid loopt en er geen auto voor je is. Dat doet zeer en is niet leuk. Zeker omdat je hier goede kansen had. Aan de andere kant moeten we blij zijn dat het gebleven is bij materiële en geen lichamelijke schade. Ik weet het ook dit hoort bij het racen en je bent dat echt blij dat het zo afloopt. Voor wie het allemaal nog een terug wil zien is er op social media een filmpje geplaatst met het precieze verhaal. Een post die inmiddels wereldwijd meer dan 2,5 miljoen keer bekeken is. Voor mij is dat ook wel een unicum. Ik kijk in ieder geval met vertrouwen naar de twee helft van het seizoen en doe het tot die tijd iets rustiger aan.”

 

 

Vila Real – The street circuit of Vila Real is a track where Tom Coronel normally arrives with high expectations. The track was the venue for the fifth round of the FIA WTCC season that included the debut of the so-called ‘joker lap’, where a part of a roundabout that is part of the track had to be taken on the left-hand side once per race, while the regular routing was on the right-hand side. The Dutch driver of the ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze saw the fun of it and studied the possibilities that this novelty could offer. At that time, he was unaware of what was in store for him: he didn’t get to race at all this weekend following a bizarre and heavy crash in practice.

 

“Last year, I won here, so I had many reasons to come here with positive feelings,” Tom Coronel starts his story. “A podium finish with the points and silverware that come with it certainly was within the possibilities. However, reality was different. On lap four in practice, I was driving at high speed and had to turn right in front of a bed with flowers and grass. Under braking, many things happened underneath the car, but it certainly didn’t brake. As a result, I ran through the grass at high speed, I hit an obstacle and finally came to a halt against an ambulance that was parked there. The impact was huge and later on, it turned out that the reason were the five bolts of the left front wheel that were broken. The wheel got loose, but was still in the wheel arch. I didn’t have any brakes and couldn’t do anything because of it. I was a passenger in my own car and in hindsight, I am happy that the ambulance was parked there, rather than blocks of concrete with the impact that would have caused. All the safety measures worked well and an investigation by the FIA revealed that the force of the impact was around 25 G. As a result, the safety belts of the car were cut in two, just like the ties of the HANS (Head And Neck Support) system and the serial number of my helmet was noted. That can never be used again. In fact, I was very lucky.

 

 

The reason why the bolts were broken is unknown. I have had it once myself at Qatar, and my fellow drivers Filippi, Valente and Bennani have had it, too. People were looking for the reason, but that remains unknown. Because of the impact, the engine was dislocated, the entire front wheel suspension was broken and there was massive damage to the bodywork and the chassis. The car really was like a banana. Here at the track, the ROAL Motorsport mechanics already started to remove the parts that were damaged. Even before the race started, they made themselves underway with the truck and trailer with the wreck to Barcelona, where the car will be rebuilt for the second half of the season in the workshop of our colleagues from Campos Motorsport. Campos still has two of these cars that we can use for spare parts and they have also made two mechanics available to support us to stay within the time frame. The issue is that on Tuesday next week, the cars have to be delivered in Frankfurt for the crossing to Argentina, where the next round will be held. There is a lot of work to do to get everything sorted in time, but everybody has assured me that they are confident.

 

 

 

Fortunately, Tiago Monteiro’s physiotherapist gave me a heavy, but good treatment fairly soon after what happened and now, one day later, I still don’t feel too much pain. The thing that annoyed me most was walking around on the starting grid here without a car being available for me to race. That hurts and really isn’t fun. Especially because I would have had good chances here. On the other hand, we have to be glad that it was just the car that was damaged, and that I don’t have any injuries myself. For everybody who wants to have another look at what happened, there is a clip on social media with the full story. A post that has been watched over 2.5 million times all over the world already. That is a unique thing for me, too. In any case, I am confident for the second half of the season and will be taking things a bit more quietly until then.”

 

 

 



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