The Slovakia Ring near Bratislava was the venue for the triple-header that was round six of the 201 FIA WTCR presented by Oscaro. For Tom Coronel, hugely popular over there, it was a weekend in which he scored valuable championship points with the Honda Civic Type R TCR run by Belgian team Boutsen Ginion Racing. After qualifying, three drivers received a penalty from the stewards. As a result, the Dutchman started sixth in the field of 26 cars.
With a good start, he managed to hold on to this position, but had to admit defeat to Alfa Romeo driver Giovanardi one lap later. A safety car intervention didn’t lead to any changes and thus, Coronel finished a creditable seventh to wrap up eight points for the championship.
Race 2 also took place on Saturday and Tom Coronel started from 13th place on the grid. After the formation lap, however, the left front shock absorber turned out to be broken and left Coronel sidelined for the race. The mechanics pushed the car off the grid for repair, but the race didn’t bring any result.
The Dutchman started from the back of the field for race 3 and had a good view of what was happening in front of him during the opening lap. Several drivers collided and ended up alongside the track with various degrees of damage. Coronel opted for the right line and stayed out of all the troubles to move up into seventh place. After some laps behind the safety car, he had to let one more driver past and finished eighth. This result allowed him to add some more points to his tally, amounting to a grand total of 28. With four race meetings remaining, these results add to the confidence for the events that are scheduled after the summer break.
Afterwards, Tom Coronel commented: « Certainly the best weekend of the year so far in terms of results. Everything fitted really well. Having an additional engineer enabled us to pay some more attention to detail. Qualifying started really well. We then had a minor issue with the steering rack that could be solved quickly and on we went. The changes worked out well and were effective. Now, we have found the upward trend and that shows in the results.
« In the first race, I was the second Honda driver in the classification and scored some good points. In the second race, something went wrong at the left front on the way to the starting grid. A little ring had come off the shock absorber, which couldn’t be repaired straight away. Too bad, but such things happen in a mechanical sport. Fortunately, my guys were able to solve this quickly and we could start race three without any problems. Some mistakes by myself were the reason I was only 17th on the grid, but with a good start, I managed to keep up with the frontrunners. In turn three, it went massively wrong in front of me. A lot of damage on many cars. I was on the right side of the track and joined the group of the frontrunners in seventh place. After some laps behind the safety car, racing resumed. Later, Petr Fulin closed up at high speed and missed his braking point. Fortunately, I saw it in time and moved over. I did lose one position, but fortunately, I didn’t get any damage on the car and I was the best-placed Honda driver in eighth. All in all a good weekend with some points and also the perspective that the car is handling well. Let’s hope that we can keep this up to make it a nice second half of the season. »
Result Race 1 FIA World Touring Car Cup 2018 Slovakia :
1. Pepe Oriola (Spa) Cupra TCR 11 laps in 26:24.640
2. Jean-Karl Vernay (Fra) Audi RS3 LMS +1.734
3. Gabriele Tarquini (Ita) Hyundai i 30N +2.374
4. Aurelien Comte (Fra) Peugeot 308 TCR +5.525
5. Fabrizio Giovanardi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR +5.773
6. Yann Ehrlacher (Fra) Honda Civic TCR +7.357 and
7. Tom Coronel (Ned) Honda Civic TCR +7.725 .
1.Gabriele Tarquini 9 laps in 19:54.840
2. Norbert Nagy (Hin) Cupra TCR +2.150
3. Yvan Muller (Fra) Hyundai i30 N TCR +3.354
4. Pepe Oriola +4.750
5. Benjamin Lessennes (Bel) Honda Civic TCR +5.323 and
15. Tom Coronel retired.
1. Norbert Michelisz (Hun) Hyundai i20 N TCR 13 laps in 32:25.458
2. Aurelien Comte +2.005
3. Frederic Vervisch (Bel) Audi RS3 LMS +8.273
4. Thed Bjork (Swe) Hyundai i30 N TCR +8-312
5. Petr Fulin (Cze) Cupra TCR +8.796 and
8. Tom Coronel (Ned) Honda Civic TCR op 9,729.