Tom Coronel is feeling optimistic about his home FIA World Touring Car Cup race in The Netherlands this weekend, after the Comtoyou Racing driver put in a competitive performance last weekend in Slovakia.
Coronel was fast all weekend on single-lap pace at the Slovakiaring, going third and second fastest in Friday’s two practice sessions before qualifying in fifth for the first race.
Second qualifying later in the day brought some bad luck for the Dutchman, as the tyre came off the rim of his car in a session taking place on a drying track which could have thrown a surprise qualifying result.
For race one Coronel managed to score his first top ten result of the year with eighth, despite early contact from Augusto Farfus and Norbert Michelisz pushing him off-line and losing him places in the early laps.
Races two and three saw Coronel faced with starting from the very back of the grid, but the 47-year-old put in a determined drive and took tenth in race two, making up 17 places.
Race three ultimately saw Coronel running close to the top ten once again until he was hit by fellow CUPRA racer Daniel Haglöf and limped to a 23rd place finish.
“It turned out to be quite a special weekend,” said Coronel. “In free practice, I had the speed and I ended up in the top five. The handling of the CUPRA was great and my speed was very consistent.
“This weekend, we had a Dutch data engineer and co-operation with him went really well. It looked set to become a nice weekend.
“The start [of race one] went well and I was third going into the first corner, but Farfus and Michelisz pushed me towards the outside.
“I dropped back as a result, but I had some nice fights with the likes of Tarquini and Catsburg and I finished eighth.”
Coronel enjoyed his races, despite being taken out of a promising position in race three, leaving him optimistic ahead of his home race at Zandvoort this weekend.
“The car ran well [in race three] and I had nice fights with several drivers, sometimes moving up places by braking really late and I got as far up as eleventh again.
“Towards the end of the race, Haglöf came back onto the track after having gone off and hit me hard on the rear tyre. Then, it was over, and I could hardly continue.
“Too bad about the poor result, but my feeling is good. The handling of the car was great and allowed me to fight. With the races at Zandvoort coming up next week, that is a good feeling.
“We will use this week for the final preparation and then everything will be okay. I really do hope to score at least a podium finish at my own Zandvoort circuit.”
Watch: Tom Coronel’s Slovakiaring highlights