Tom Coronel with Honda Civic Type R competing for The Netherlands in FIA Motorsport Games
With the FIA Motorsport Games, the global motorsport federation FIA is launching a new event on the worldwide motorsport calendar. The inaugural running will be held from 1-3 November at the Vallelunga circuit near Rome. Captain of the Dutch team is Tom Coronel, who is also taking part in the two TCR Cup races that are part of the programme with his trusted Honda Civic Type R. In the Kart Cup, Nina Pothof and Bastiaan van Loenen will be representing The Netherlands while the Dutch participant for the Digital Cup will be determined during next week’s Rotterdam Games Week.
“As far as I am concerned, I wouldn’t mind to go racing every weekend,” Tom Coronel says. “So when this came up, I was interested right away. It is the first time that this competition is held and I am looking at it as the Olympics in motorsport, a little bit like the Nations’ Cup in Formula Opel back in the day. In total, some 35 national teams will be competing and we are representing the Dutch colours. That also means that my familiar Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda Civic, the car I am normally racing in the TCR Europe Series, will get a different livery. The Dutch flag will be on the roof and on the bonnet. On top of that, there are some orange features as well, because that is the colour of our country and also the historic racing colour for Dutch drivers.
Moreover, I had a special ‘Netherlands’ race suit made for the event, also with some orange accents, and for the rare occasion, I will be racing with starting number 33, for our Dutch national Formula 1 hero Max Verstappen. These are also some of the requirements to be able to participate. Moreover, you have to be entered by the national sporting authority of your country, so that is what KNAF has done in the meantime. As Team Netherlands, we are taking part in three of the six disciplines. For this year, we have opted to miss out on the disciplines GT, Formula 4 and Drifting,” the freshly-named team captain says.
The circuit where the races are held is by no means unfamiliar to the Dutch driver. “Back when I was racing for Roberto Ravaglia’s team ROAL Motorsport, we would often go there. That knowledge will certainly be helpful. Moreover, we are racing the Honda Civic Type R to TCR regulations. We have been very successful with that car in the past few races, which also adds to the confidence. Next to the FIA, Stéphane Ratel Organisation (SRO) is taking care of the full progamme, including a huge opening ceremony on 30 October in Rome. I am really confident and I am looking forward to it,” the Dutch driver cum team captain says. Over the years of his long career in racing, Coronel has competed in many different categories. Like his other races this year, his participation in the FIA Motorsport Games will be covered in Tom Coronel’s race programme on Dutch TV channel RTL 7 in November.
In total, 20 drivers from as many countries have been entered for the touring car competition at the occasion of the FIA Motorsport Games, run with cars to TCR regulations. Tom Coronel will be competing against some drivers he already knows from other touring car competitions, such as Frenchman John Filippi, Belgian Gilles Magnus, Swedish lady racer Jessica Bäckman and Slowakian Matejo Homola, who all competed in TCR Europe this season as well, plus German Luca Engstler, a two-time TCR Asia champion.