Eighth place for Tom Coronel in TCR Europe Series at Monza
MONZA (25 September 2022) – The sixth and penultimate round of the season in the TCR Europe Series took the participants including Tom Coronel as the only Dutch driver in the field to the famous Autodromo Nazionale Monza, also known as the “temple of speed”. That the speed was clearly there for Tom Coronel with the Audi RS 3 LMS in DHL livery, run by Belgian team, Comtoyou Racing, the Dutchman showed by ending up as the fastest Audi driver in both practice sessions and also by posting the fastest race lap time in the second race. A red flag at an unfortunate moment in qualifying, however, was the reason that Coronel only started 18th for both races so that he didn’t get any further than 13th place in the first race. In the second race, at least he still finished eighth.
“Always nice to race at Monza again,” Tom Coronel said. He started the race weekend in Italy with the second-fastest time in first free practice on Friday at lunchtime, a result he repeated in second practice late in the afternoon. That also made him the best-placed Audi driver in both sessions. Of course, it made him optimistic for qualifying on Saturday morning during which the starting grid positions for the two races were determined. For Coronel, however, qualifying was far from ideal: “I was on my way to fifth place when there was a red flag after somebody had gone off the track, 100 metres before I crossed the finish line, so my time was cancelled and I didn’t get any further than 18th place on the grid for both races.”
In the first race, held in the rain on Saturday afternoon, Coronel ended up in 13th place. “It was the first time for me to race with the new tyres in the rain, visibility was really bad. Apart from that, it was just moving up step by step, but then, Sergio Lopez hit me, he drove into my car really hard. Yes, I had briefly tangled with him before, by no means on purpose, but he thought it was necessary to hit me, so the left rear suspension was bent. There was nothing I could achieve like that anymore,” Coronel reported.
In the second race, Coronel managed to make more progress. “I didn’t take too much risk at the start because you always have to be a little bit careful from P18. I got stuck twice, but eventually, I was able to move up nicely and that is how I ended up finishing eighth. This shows that the car was good and that the speed was definitely there, but because of the red flag in qualifying, there was nothing more in it. Too bad, but things like that happen.”
In the championship standings, Coronel currently is in fourth place. The finale of the 2022 TCR Europe Series season will be held at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from 14th till 16th October. “There, I will definitely try to achieve a good result to end the season on a high,” Coronel said.