Action packed racing in the WTCR 2019 at the Hungaroring, Tom Coronel Cupra

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Action packed racing in the WTCR 2019 at the Hungaroring, Tom Coronel Cupra
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Tom Coronel with damage, but also with points from second round 2019 FIA WTCR at Hungaroring

Budapest, 28 April 2019 – The second round of the 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) presented by Oscaro took place at the 4.381 kilometres long Hungaroring near Budapest. Dutch driver Tom Coronel participated with his Cupra, run by Belgian outfit Comtoyou DHL Team Cupra Racing.
The first of the weekend’s three races was held on Saturday afternoon. For the Dutchman, qualifying hadn’t gone to plan and he had to make do with a position at the back of the grid as a result. In the race, he managed to make up places and took the chequered flag in 18th place with the DHL Cupra. Later, he gained one further position after the stewards had imposed a time penalty for several drivers.
The first race on Sunday afternoon started in the dry, but at three quarters of the distance, a rain shower made the asphalt more slippery. In the frenetic race action, Coronel initially had made his way up to eleventh place and had good chances of continuing his progress. Unfortunate contact by Leuchter, however, was the reason that he lost several places at once. After a nice battle with Frédéric Vervisch in the closing stages, he finished 14th.
Race three got underway after a brief repair break for all competitors. Even though the bodywork had been hit on all sides, the Dutchman’s Cupra had little mechanical damage. At a track that was half damp, half dry, the field got underway. In the bumper-to-bumper duels, Coronel showed his strength and converted his 16th grid position into a 13th place finish in the race that saw two safety car interventions.

“I already said it last time,” Tom Coronel starts his report. “This field really is super competitive. In first qualifying, things didn’t go well for me and two mistakes by myself were the reason that I almost ended up all the way at the back of the grid for the first race. In that race, I did have some nice battles and managed to overtake some drivers. Qualifying on Sunday went much better. The speed was there and that resulted into 16th place on the grid. Again, it showed that the differences were really small. Drivers who are up front on Saturday can be found at the back on Sunday. It is difficult to judge the peaks in performance. Still, I reckon that if I can shave two tenths of a second off my time, I can be a lot further up on the grid. Now, I always get stuck in the midfield. So I know what my task for the next round will be. During the second race, rain set in, but even before that, it already was a serious mess. There was contact throughout and I was hit several times as well. Plenty of paint was traded in my battles with the likes of Bennani, Shedden and eventually also my teammate Panis. Fortunately, no vital parts of the car were hit and damage was limited to the bodywork, the bumpers and the splitter. However, my right rear tyre slowly lost pressure on the final four laps that had its effect on the handling. Back in the pits, I saw how much damage the others had. After that 14th place in race two, the final race of the weekend followed. The track was wet, but it didn’t really rain. That caused loss of grip for some drivers again, or collisions, for that matter. In the closing stages of the race, there were two safety car interventions. For me, things went well with nice and good battles and 13th place as a result. Again, I managed to score points. Moreover, we now have eight new tyres left for the next race and with them, we surely will try to get further up in qualifying next time,” Tom Coronel concludes.

Result race 1 Hungaroring:
1. Nestor Girolami (Arg) Honda Civic TCR 12 laps in 23:19.369;
2. Yvan Muller (Fra) Lynk & Co 03 TCR +0.475;
3. Esteban Guerrieri (Arg) Honda Civic TCR +0.926;
4. Jean-Karl Vernay (Fra) Audi RS3 LMS +1.846;
5. Aurelien Panis (Fra) Cupra TCR +2.265:
17. Tom Coronel (Ned) Cupra TCR +17.654.

Race 2:
1. Nestor Girolami 12 laps in 23:46.542
2. Jean-Karl Vernay +2.529;
3. Daniel Haglöf (Awe) Cupra TCR +3.507;
4. Mikel Azcona (Spa) Cupra TCR +5.260;
5. Esteban Guerrieri +12.822
14. Tom Coronel (Ned) +24.699.

Race 3:
1. Gabriele Tarquini (Ita) Hyundai i30 N TCR 17 laps;
2. Norbert Michelisz (Hun) Hyundai i30 N TCR +0.739;
3. Yann Ehrlacher (Fra) Lynk & Co 03 TCR +1.535;
4. Mikel Azcona (Spa) +1.785;
5. Thed Björk (Swe) Lynk & Co +2.112
13. Tom Coronel (Ned) +8.656.


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