ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel was pleased to get his World Touring Car Championship campaign back on track in Hungary, after securing a podium finish in race two.
After sustaining significant damage at Marrakech a fortnight ago, Coronel was forced to miss the championship’s test at the Nurburgring in the week but was able to compete in Saturday’s practice sessions at the Hungaroring with his Chevrolet Cruze having been repaired in time, before qualifying in eighth for Sunday’s opening race.
The Dutchman dropped two positions to tenth by the end of race one but was nevertheless able to score his first point of the season, and took advantage of his third-place grid slot in the second encounter to finish as runner up to Zengo Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz, having slithered past team-mate Tom Chilton at Turn 1 on the opening lap.
With valuable points finally on the board, Coronel said that while the racing had lacked some excitement, he was nevertheless pleased to have had a trouble-free weekend with a trophy to show for his efforts.
“In race 1, I had a great start [and] I was sixth for a while,” he said. “But then, in a corner, I found Tiago Monteiro, a Citroën, Michelisz and my team-mate in my way. Later on, [Rob] Huff slightly hit me and I dropped back to tenth, [but] at least that gave me my first WTCC championship point of the year.
“The start of the second race was probably even better than the first one. The Hondas are known to pull of good starts, but I could slot in right behind race leader Michelisz, just ahead of my team-mate Chilton. Michelisz pulled a slight gap and after the turbulent start, I could pull clear from my team-mate a little bit, too.
“After that, it was a rather dull race with only few battles. But at the end of the day, I don’t care, because it is the result that counts. A nice trophy and valuable championship points are the result of this weekend.”
And despite missing last week’s test, the four-time WTCC race winner had a renewed sense of optimism about the series’ visit to the Nurburgring after his exploits, with Coronel also expecting an engine upgrade that his Chevrolet counterparts have already enjoyed the benefits of.
“For the next race, I expect to be getting an engine with 2015 specifications like Valente and Chilton have already,” said the 43 year-old. “That is nice, because the next race is at the Nürburgring.
“That is the race of all races, for which we could already test a little bit last week – I wasn’t there for obvious reasons [but] still, I am confident. I have done a couple of laps there and when the car is the same like this weekend, another success there could very well be on the cards.”