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TCR Europe

Tom Coronel heads to TCR Europe Series season finale as leader in standings

Gepubliceerd op 24 September 2023

MONZA (24 September) – In the first race of the weekend, a broken shock absorber on the left front forced him to retire, but in the second race of the TCR Europe Series at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Tom Coronel finished third with the Audi RS 3 TCR. With this, the Dutch driver scored another podium finish this weekend, but more importantly, he will be heading to the season finale as leader in the points’ standings. At the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, he is in a good position to clinch the title on 21 and 22 October.



Now that the championship battle has entered its decisive phase, it was also time for Tom Coronel to make the necessary strategic decisions in order to be in the best possible position. Coronel got his race weekend at Monza off to a good start with the fastest time in first free practice in the rain, in which he kept the entire opposition at bay. In second free practice, he concentrated mainly on bedding in new brakes, so the lap time did not say much. “We mainly focused on qualifying,” Coronel explained. “Strategically we wanted to be somewhere in eighth, ninth or tenth place in qualifying, because that means you get to unload weight, while the top seven get extra weight. I had 40 kilos in the car now, but for the last races in Barcelona I obviously wanted to be as light as possible, because we are fighting for the championship. That all worked out according to plan: I qualified eighth and that was exactly what I wanted, so that means I don’t have to take any extra weight on board for the next race, while my biggest competitors all have 30 kilograms extra.”



Coronel started the first race of the weekend from eighth place. He made a good start, was soon able to make up ground and was already in fourth place, when the shock absorber mount on the left front wheel of his Audi broke. “It was clear to see that there already was some difference in colour, so apparently it was an issue that had been going on for a while already. That’s bad luck, but things like this happen that from time to time, that is normal,” spoke Coronel, for whom the race ended prematurely. Nevertheless, he was still classified in eleventh place.



In the second race, due to the reversed starting order for the top ten from qualifying, Coronel started third. At the start, he managed to gain a position right away, but he was hit in the first corner and was then stuck behind a driver who had overshot the chicane, gaining unauthorised advantage. “It took me a while to get past him, that took some time,” Coronel reported afterwards. “Then I was able to get to the front and even led the field for two laps, but then I got very troubled by braking problems, which allowed my teammate Baldan to pass, and soon Volt with the Honda also passed as he had no weight on board and was a lot faster on the straight. I had 40 kilos on board and that was quite difficult to manage because at Monza you have to brake really hard a few times. That’s how I ended up third, which I’m very happy with, because although I obviously lost some points due to the retirement in race one, this allowed me to gain some more points and I’m now going to the finale in Barcelona with a ten-point lead in the standings. I’m looking forward to that!”