Tom Coronel ‘enjoyed’ battling for points in the World Touring Car Championship races on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, despite an electronic gremlin costing him ground in the Opening Race.
Coronel had qualified in seventh position for the Main Race around the legendary German circuit, ending up as the best of the Chevrolet drivers.
From fourth on the reverse grid for the Opening Race, however, the Dutchman suffered from a poor start thanks to an electronic issue on his Cruze, dropping him to tenth by the end of the first lap.
Coronel battled back to an eighth place finish, less than half a second behind the factory Honda of Norbert Michelisz ahead.
In the Main Race, from seventh on the grid, Coronel was unable to make any significant gains and he finished the race in the same place.
The ROAL Motorsport driver admits that he was pleased to be able to finish both races in the points, after having suffered a puncture and point-less weekend at the circuit in 2016.
“Last year was still in my mind,” said Coronel. “Back then, I lost a certain podium finish because of a tyre failure and I had a lot of damage.
“Qualifying was tough, but good, and I was really happy with my car. Everything handled well and realistically, seventh place is where I normally belong with this car.
“The start of the first race went completely wrong. An electronic gremlin in the starting system meant that my throttle pedal was on the floor, but I hardly had any speed. Thus, I lost valuable positions.
“For the rest [of the race], everything went fine and I was able to drive my own race. I had a battle with Nicky Catsburg, but his Volvo was stronger and on the final lap, I saw drivers getting into trouble with the tyres in front of me. I safely brought it home and secured the points.”
The Main Race saw early contact with the Honda of Ryo Michigami, which ended the Japanese drivers race but was not significant enough to rule Coronel out.
“In the second race, my start was considerably better and I was able to hold on to my position. In the early stages, Michigami hit me, but that didn’t cause a lot of damage. I enjoyed the race and defended my position.
“On the final lap, I had some vibrations on the left front wheel, so I backed off a bit, which allowed Guerrieri to close up, but I still kept him at bay.
“I [had a] trouble-free, solid and safe race, therefore, and once again world championship points. That was a good way to celebrate the 60th birthday of our team principal Roberto Ravaglia.”
Watch: Tom Coronel video highlights