Honda’s customer racing teams will compete at the historic Circuit Zandvoort in the Netherlands this weekend as the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup moves on to its fourth event of the season.
With a jumbo crowd of over 150,000 fans expected to descend on the Dutch dunes, home hero Tom Coronel is set to receive a hero’s welcome at the circuit.
The Boutsen Ginion Racing driver enjoyed his best event of the season last weekend at the Nürburgring by scoring points in all three races, and he is aiming even higher with his Honda Civic Type R TCR at his local track.
Tom’s team-mate Benjamin Lessennes was a career-best fourth in Germany and has plenty of experience of Zandvoort; the Belgian having finished on the podium twice at the 4.3-km circuit during his title-winning campaign in TCR Benelux last year.
Tiago Monteiro will once again be present in the Netherlands to mentor Benjamin through the weekend.
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport were victorious in Germany with Esteban Guerrieri to add to the win they secured in Hungary with his team-mate Yann Ehrlacher.
The German outfit lie third in the Teams’ Championship with Yann and Esteban fifth in the Drivers’ standings.
Fellow Münnich driver James Thompson is the only Honda Civic Type R TCR driver other than Tom Coronel to have raced at Zandvoort in World Touring Cars.
Zandvoort has been a part of the World Touring Car calendar just once before, in 2007. This year’s event unusually takes place across three days with the first of three races being held on Sunday and the others on Monday.
Tom Coronel #9 : « I can’t wait to race in front of my home crowd at Zandvoort. The Dutch fans are the most passionate and knowledgeable in the world and when I race at home, it feels like they make me faster. As well as this, I have driven tens of thousands of laps at Zandvoort in my time as an instructor at the race school, although the resurfacing means that the knowledge of the track won’t quite be the advantage it might have been. I was pleased to score points in all three races in Germany. Now the target is to qualify in the top 10 and aim for even better results. »
Benjamin Lessennes #63 : « At last; a circuit I’m familiar with, and a fantastic one too with a lot of long corners that should allow us to maximise the strengths Honda Civic Type R TCR’s handling. The start of my WTCR career has gone much better than I expected. My target was initially to challenge for points, but after finishing in the top five in two of the three events so far, I’ve adjusted my ambitions with the podium now the aim and points the expectation. I’ve finished on the podium at Zandvoort in TCR Benelux and I’ll use that experience to help me. »
Yann Ehrlacher #68 : « I am ready to get back into the battle for the championship after the Nurburgring didn’t quite go how we’d hoped. I’m fifth in the points, but I think we will have a very strong car around Zandvoort because the circuit characteristics should be good for the Honda. We tested there before the start of the season and I like the circuit, which has a classic feel about it. There look like there are a number of overtaking places so the racing should be brilliant. »
Esteban Guerrieri #86 : « To get the win at the Nürburgring was incredible, especially as it wasn’t a circuit where we expected we could maximise the Honda’s handling to such an extent. We’re about a third of the way through the season now and eighth place in the points is lower than I where I expected to be, but we haven’t had a totally trouble-free weekend yet and if we can get one at Zandvoort – where I expect us to be strong – I’m sure we can be on the podium and strengthen our championship positions. »
James Thompson #15 : « I’m looking forward to this weekend. We’d made strong progress over the opening two rounds of the season and scored some good points, so to be back at a traditional track like Zandvoort gives us a good chance of continuing that upward trend after our difficulties at the Nürburgring. I’ve raced World Touring Cars before at Zandvoort and I like the track, so there’s every reason to be optimistic heading into the weekend. »
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