Tyre issue in qualifying prevents better results for Tom Coronel at Hungaroring
MOGYORÓD (12 June 2022) – Following the Nürburgring fiasco where the planned races had to be cancelled due to tyre issues for some competitors in the practice sessions, the next two FIA WTCR – World Touring Car Cup races were held at the Hungaroring in Mogyoród near Budapest. Tom Coronel participated with his Audi RS 3 LMS run by Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport. This time, he was affected by tyre issues, too: a puncture in qualifying was the reason he had to make do with 16th place on the grid for both races. At a circuit where overtaking is notoriously difficult, anything but an ideal situation, which became apparent in the two races as Coronel was classified 15th and 13th respectively.
The free practice sessions indicated that more would have been in store: “We were on the pace quite nicely, somewhere around ninth, tenth, eleventh place,” Coronel said. “That gave us the perspective to advance to Q2 in qualifying, the heat for the twelve fastest drivers from Q1. That was our focus with the aim of securing a position around ninth or tenth place in Q2 to be nicely at the front of the grid for the second race.”
However, qualifying didn’t go according to plan, the driver reported. “On my first run, I made a small error and on the second run, the left rear tyre burst. Then, there was little time left to start a third run, so I had to drive really fast coming out of the pits, but when you go too fast after leaving the pits, you destroy the peak of your tyres and the sector times showed it. The start of the lap was still good, but at the end of the lap, the tyres degraded massively, so there was nothing more in it than 16th on the grid for the two races. And that while I had expected to be quite decently in contention, so it was a serious disappointment!”
In the first race, Coronel had a good getaway. He reported: “I overtook Tassi, I overtook Bennani and was fighting with Thed Björk. Eventually, I became involved in a duel with Nagy, one of the local drivers in the field, who had started twelfth. I had already started the move to attack him, but we ended up tangling with each other. He didn’t even get off, but I was given a five-second time penalty. Strange, because there were more of such actions before without any penalty being given. I mean, this is touring car racing, after all. I hope race control remains consequent and will not be penalizing actions like this in the future. But anyway, it is what it is, when such a decision is made during the race already, there isn’t much you can do.”
“In race 2, I had another good start,” Coronel commented. “I was fighting nicely with the two Hondas, both Monteiro and Tassi. I had a lot of fun, nice racing in the first two laps including some contact. I was able to battle a bit with Björk and Nagy, too. Then, the safety car was deployed. I was somewhere in the midfield, nobody in front of me and nobody behind me. We had made some changes on the set-up. It was better for the fast corners, but certainly not in the slow corners. I was lacking a lot of traction which was also obvious compared to the ones in front of me. That is something we need to look into. All in all, this weekend wasn’t one for the books, but it is now over and done with, we are now looking ahead.” Coronel will already be in action again next weekend in the two TCR Europe Series races at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.