Tom Coronel has committed to competing in TCR Europe alongside his FIA World Touring Car Cup programme for the third year in a row, this time racing an Audi RS3 LMS TCR in the European series.
Since 2019, Coronel has also raced in TCR Europe alongside his WTCR programme, driving a Honda Civic Type-R for Boutsen Ginion Racing in the last two years.
On both occasions, the Dutchman has only contested a part-season due to calendar clashes between the two series. Coronel hopes to complete a full season and become a title contender in 2021, although two dates on the TCR Europe and WTCR calendars will make for challenging logistics.
The closest dates between the two series are when TCR Europe races on the support bill for the Spa 24 Hours on 30 – 31 July, whilst WTCR will race on the revamped Adria Raceway on 31 July – 1 August.
Whilst Coronel will race a brand new 2021-spec Audi RS3 in WTCR, he will race an older-spec RS3 in TCR Europe, but still run by the Belgian Comtoyou Racing outfit.
The 49-year-old admits that he is looking forward to more racing in 2021, as he was also the busiest TCR driver in 2020.
“Great, another seven weekends with two races each – the schedule is filling up nicely again,” said Coronel. “Last year, I was the driver with the most TCR race participations worldwide and I certainly wouldn’t mind if that is the case again this year!
“When I was involved in negotiations with my regular partners for this year’s WTCR, many of them said: ‘And what about the European series? That is a good programme as well, isn’t it?’.
“All parties showed their enthusiasm and that is how we finalised this campaign as well. Of course, I am very happy with it!
“I feel very comfortable at Comtoyou Racing and Chris Reinke, Audi’s head of customer racing, made it quite clear as well that he would like to see me with Audi in TCR Europe, too.
“The new [car] is still exclusively reserved for WTCR. But the previous version is also good for success, as has become quite clear over the past years!
“My WTCR Audi from last year was no longer available as it has been sold to somebody in Poland who definitely wanted my car. But Nathanaël’s car is perfect, too. After all, he has also won races and scored podium results with it!”
Coronel is looking forward to the season opener at the Slovakiaring next month, a venue where he claimed victory in last year’s WTCR.
“I have scored two of my [World Touring Car] race wins there, so we should be in a position to do well there now, too.
“I already raced at Zandvoort with WTCR, but never before with TCR Europe, so that is great.
“Unlike in previous years, I am able to race the full season, so that I can be a contender for the title as well.”