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Tom Coronel aiming to continue with ROAL Motorsport in 2017

Tom Coronel is aiming to continue with ROAL Motorsport in the 2017 World Touring Car Championship, with the Dutchman already in talks with Team Principal Roberto Ravaglia.

Although the 2016 season wasn’t Coronel’s best season in the championship, the fact that he won two races – something he has only previously achieved in 2013 – makes Coronel especially proud of his achievements.

“We made the impossible happen with, among others, two race wins and a second place,” said Coronel. “These results were much better than what we had hoped for prior to the season. Especially on the street circuits, we were strong and we made the impossible happen.

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“Now, we are already fully involved in the negotiations for next year, because there is no doubt that I want to be back in the WTCC in 2017.”

The season finale in Qatar was a mixed affair for the 44-year-old, with problems in practice preventing him from making the most of the track time.

“I lacked some track time in preparation for qualifying and the lap times reflected this. I had to start both races from 13th place, knowing that overtaking here is difficult and the circuit doesn’t really suit our Chevrolet.”

The Opening Race saw Coronel eventually finish in 12th place, having started in 13th due to struggling in qualifying.

“In the first race, I noticed at the start that the ‘start lever’, a sort of hand brake to pre-load the car, didn’t work. As a result, the start wasn’t perfect and overtaking was difficult, as we already knew beforehand.”

The Main Race saw Coronel benefit from some collisions and battles in front of him, with the Dutchman eventually crossing the line in ninth overall to take two more points on his way to finishing the year 11th overall in the drivers’ championship standings.

Coronel is now focussing all of his efforts on putting together a deal for 2017, adding that he is keen to both remain on the grid and with ROAL Motorsport, although he did not reveal if it would be in one of the Chevrolet RML cars.

“The first talks with ROAL Motorsport team boss Roberto Ravaglia have already taken place. It is our mutual intention to continue the co-operation that has already been going on for six years now, in 2017 as well.

“Together, we are a very closely-knit team and I will do my utmost to ensure that we will be back on the grid together for the FIA World Touring Car Championship next year!”

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