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Tom Coronel felt ‘under pressure’ from newcomer Esteban Guerrieri

Tom Coronel admits that he felt ‘under pressure’ from World Touring Car Championship newcomer Esteban Guerrieri, who beat him to being the fastest driver at the wheel of a Chevrolet RML Cruze.

Coronel made his third Q3 appearance of the season on Saturday, putting his ROAL Motorsport car in fourth, which then became third when Guerrieri had his lap time disallowed.

Whilst that result left Coronel as the leading Chevrolet driver on the grid, with Guerrieri demoted to fifth, he admits that the arrival of another fast Argentine driver in equal machinery to him has made him feel extra pressure.

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“Argentina is always good, I like motor racing and also motor racing is very big in this country and there’s also the Dakar rally,” said Coronel, who has spent the past week in the country after competing in an Argentine TC2000 race the previous weekend. “It’s always a good fight and thanks to Esteban, he put me under pressure.

“It was a difficult one at the beginning but I started to feel the track a bit more and the balance of the car. To end up P3 thanks to his mistake… I should not be here.”

Coronel’s qualifying result means he will start the Opening Race from eighth on the grid, and he admits that he now faces a difficult task to score a strong result in that race as a result, even though his car is not carrying any compensation weight this weekend.

“I didn’t expect to be in the top five,” added the Dutchman. “When I was told I was P4 in Q3 I was not so happy because the reverse grid [Opening Race] is where I can make the result.

“I always go for the maximum, and also thanks to the pressure from the newcomer.”

Coronel also called out for more racers from Argentina to make the step up to the WTCC in the future.

“The top ten drivers in the Súper TC2000 championship could do very good in this championship and we need more drivers from this country to race in this championship.”

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