TCR Europe Oscherleben: A double podium for Tom Coronel

Tom Coronel © DR

The fifth round (races 9 & 10) of the TCR Europe Touring Car Series was held at the 3.696km long circuit at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben in Germany. Dutch driver Tom Coronel raced his Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR. Just like his fellow Honda driver Max Verstappen in Formula 1, he finished second and even did so twice.


The previous TCR Europe races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria had already revealed that Tom Coronel was up to speed with his Honda Civic Type R. That upward trend continued during the fifth race weekend. A pair of second places in the two free practice sessions underlined this, but a broken driveshaft in qualifying saw him ending up further down the order. Coronel was seventh on the grid for race one, but thanks to the ‘reversed grid’ for race two, he started from third position for this encounter.

The driveshaft issues were solved quickly, allowing the Dutchman to fully attack. In the first race, this initially resulted into a fourth-place finish, but after decisions from the stewards with penalties for several drivers, Tom Coronel found himself second in the final classification. In the second race, he had another excellent start and immediately slotted in behind the Cupra of British race leader Alex Morgan. The latter turned down several challenges from the Honda driver and crossed the line as the winner. Tom Coronel took the chequered flag in second place.

« Finally, the first trophies are there, » a happy Tom Coronel commented afterwards. « Last time, we already came close, but it wasn’t yet to be. Now, it was! In free practice, things were already going well with a pair of second places. We were on the pace. In qualifying, I was seventh or eighth with used tyres and at the moment we wanted to change tyres, a driveshaft snapped. Thankfully, that could be repaired quickly and effectively, but I was no longer able to improve my time. I started seventh on the grid for the first race and had a good getaway. There was some action in front of me. Nelson Panciatici punted off Jessica Bäckman and was given a 30-second time penalty afterwards. Andreas Bäckman, who had finished first, was excluded because of a ride-height infringement. And even though I was having some turbo sensor issues, I was able to keep up with the others without much effort. I was biding my time, following closely what was happening in front of me, but the real action happened post-race. Too bad that I didn’t get the chance to stand on the podium, because I was fourth across the line and was promoted two places following decisions by the stewards.

« In the second race, I had another great start and I was right on the rear bumper of Alex Morgan’s Cupra. I was pushing him all the way, trying to find a way past, but he defended well, so eventually, second place was all I could get. My second second place of the weekend and a nice reward for the way the team and I are going about our participation in this championship. Really nice! Now, we hope to keep up this positive trend. Next week, I will be competing in my first-ever rallycross event at Montalegre in Portugal. Something I have never done before, but I think it will be fun. The TitanRX cars we are using there is a combination of my race activities and my Dakar experience. They have already asked me several times, but now, it fits nicely into my schedule, so I accepted the offer. It is a class with spec cars, all of them four-wheel driven Pantera RX6s. It has a 530 hp 2.3 litre turbocharged Ford Mustang engine and it is something I am really looking forward to. After that, I will be racing in the Historic Grand Prix at Circuit Zandvoort for David Hart, followed by the next WTCR rounds with the Cupra in China. After that, we have the next round of the TCR European Touring Car Series at Barcelona with the Honda. »

Result race TCR Europe race 1 Oschersleben:
1. Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Honda Civic Type R, 16 laps in 25m00.242s;
2. Tom Coronel (Ned) Honda Civic Type R +0.810;
3. Josh Files (GBr) Hyundai i30 N TCR +10.982;
4. Dominik Bauman (Aut) Hyundai i30 N TCR +11.354;
5. Gianni Morbidelli (Ita) Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR +13.787 and
6. Mat’o Homola (Slo) Hyundai i30 N TCR +19.318.

Race 2:
1. Alex Morgan (GBr) Cupra TCR 16 laps in 25m03.406s;
2. Tom Coronel (Ned) Honda Civic Type R +0.346;
3. Josh Files (GBr) Hyundai i30 N TCR +1.294;
4. Dominik Baumann (Aut) Hyundai i30 N TCR +1.682;
5. Santiago Urrutia (Uru) Audi RS 3 LMS +2.342 and
6. Jessica Bäckman (Swe) Hyundai i30 N TCR +2.923.

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