A good end of the TCR Europe Series season for Tom Coronel

With the Honda Civic Type-R TCR, sporting the familiar red-and-yellow DHL colours and run by Belgian team, Boutsen Ginion Racing, Tom Coronel participated in the final race weekend of the TCR Europe Series season. In spite of 60 kilograms of additional weight, the result of Coronel’s pair of podium finishes at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit and his second place in qualifying at the same venue, he was able to battle nicely in the two races at the Jarama circuit near the Spanish capital of Madrid. Coronel finished seventh in the second race, having been classified 14th in the opening competition. « In both races, I had some nice battles. In the second race, I was the fastest Honda driver and also the best-placed Honda driver. I really enjoy racing in this series although I was only able to participate in three events this season, » Coronel said.

Coronel got his weekend at Circuito del Jarama off to a good start: « First free practice got underway at a track that was partly wet, partly dry. There, we were on the pace and we were at the top of the timing screens or in second place for a long time. As the track dried out more and more, we were also struggling more. That also became apparent in second free practice and in qualifying. The 60 kilograms of additional weight I had on board really had its effect. We had expected to be a little bit more competitive. The track is quite twisty, which apparently suited the other competitors as well. »

In the first race, there were some fierce battles including the necessary bodywork contact. Coronel was in the middle of the action, as he reported: « The track was still half damp, but I started with four slick tyres. It was a bit chaotic. Somebody already hit me in the first corner and I dropped back five places right away. It seemed as if everybody was hitting each other and I was right in the middle of it. At the end of the opening lap, I was hit once again in the final corner, after which I lost another five places. There were two safety car interventions and I was able to overtake another two or three drivers, but all in all, I was hit three times and was almost facing the wrong way three times as well. Eventually, I was classified 14th. »

In the second race, Coronel opted for a pair of slicks on the front axle and two rain tyres on the rear axle as the track still wasn’t fully dry. « I had a very good start, was able to move up really nicely right away, » Coronel reported. « I had some nice battles, among others with Baert and Nagy. Baert was still in contention for the championship title, so I didn’t make life too difficult for him. We were in a nice group from fourth to seventh place and I was seventh across the finish line. »

Moroccan Mehdi Bennani concluded the season as the new champion. « Congratulations to him. Of course, I have known Mehdi really well for many years from the world championship, » Coronel said. « I really enjoyed racing in the European series, there is really some nice racing here, much different than in the world championship. This weekend, things were going really well, a nice end to the season and as far as I am concerned, I definitely want to race here again next year! »

Results TCR Europe, Circuito del Jarama, 6 – 7 November 2020
Race 1:
1. Mikel Azcona (Esp), Cupra TCR, 17 laps in 39.28.972
2. Teddy Clairet (Fra), Peugeot 308 TCR, +6.618
3. Mat’o Homola (Svk), Hyundai i30 N TCR, +8.009…

Race 2:
1. John Filippi (Fra), Hyundai i30 N TCR, 17 laps in 31.22.683
2. Mehdi Bennani (Mar), Audi RS 3 LMS, +1.341
3. Julien Briché (Fra), Peugeot 308 TCR, +2.735…

Calendar Tom Coronel
14-15 November: WTCR Race of Aragón, Spain

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