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Tom Coronel competing ‘at the limit’

After scoring two sixth-placed finishes in the World Touring Car Championship at the Hungaroring, Tom Coronel has admitted that he is competing ‘at the limit’ of his BMW 320 TC.

Coronel, who scored his third-ever WTCC victory in the reverse-grid race at the Slovakiaring, spent most of the two races in Hungary battling in the middle of the top ten. The Dutchman admitted that he had enjoyed Sunday’s races, which have left him sixth in the driver’s championship, although just four points adrift of third-placed Rob Huff.

“I really enjoyed the races,” said Coronel, 41. “The start of the first race was quite hectic. I made it through the first corner and before the second corner, I got hit by Nash at the left rear. Due to that, I hit Tiago Monteiro, something I couldn’t do anything about. But I lost two places as a result and had to battle with Bennani, Tom Chilton and Rob Huff to make it back to sixth. I really enjoyed the racing, had a lot of battles and the car handled very consistently.

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“At the end of the straight, we are still lacking some top speed. By driving a defensive line and with the good handling of the BMW in the middle part of the track, I was able to keep up with the others.”

Coronel admitted that he is increasingly at the limit of his ageing BMW 320 TC – despite the car now being allowed to run carbon fibre doors to help it run at its base weight. Indeed since BMW left the WTCC at the end of 2010 the German manufacturer has taken just six wins, with all coming in reverse-grid races.

“In the second race I had plenty of work with the Chevrolet’s of Muller and Chilton,” added Coronel. “I did everything I could, but I couldn’t keep Muller at bay. Chilton also found a way past, but I could overtake him again after he had made a mistake.”

However Coronel added that the victory for Huff – including a fastest lap – at the wheel of an ageing SEAT shows that the WTCC can continue to surprise in 2013 and the Dutchman feels that he can continue to deliver in the right circumstances.

“Sixth in the race, which was won by Rob Huff. Huffy – the driver with whom I had such a big battle in the first race. Thus, it becomes clear that we can compete, in spite of the lack of top speed at the end of the main straight. However, I am at the limit and that is all there is, but a trophy here would have been nice.”

Tom Coronel’s Hungaroring highlights:

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