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WTCC Morocco 2013: Coronel chases weight break
10 April 2013
Tom Coronel says he hopes that series organisers will allow the BMW teams to reduce their minimum weight despite securing his best result of the World Touring Car Championship season in Morocco.
The ROAL Motorsport driver picked up the best result for a BMW driver to date in 2013 with a top six finish in the second race in Marrakech, although it was a second straight weekend where the BMW drivers struggled to match the pace of their rivals.
Coronel's weekend didn't start in the best fashion when a mistake under braking in qualifying saw him run into the rear of team-mate Darryl O'Young, leaving him unable to run in the second phase of the session despite setting a time good enough to make it into the final twelve.
“I tried to improve the tenth fastest time I had at that moment, but I made a huge mistake under braking for the chicane,” Coronel reflected. “I missed my braking point and ran into the rear of Darryl's car.
"In hindsight, I don't have any explanation at all for that move. It really was too bad, because both cars were heavily damaged and I was sidelined from Q2 on the spot. The mechanics worked until half past one at night to repair the damage to our BMWs, so a big hand to them, because the cars were really strong again in the race.”
The Dutchman was able to make forward progress in the opening race of the weekend to take ninth spot, despite losing time behind the lapped car of home favourite Mehdi Bennani, and then followed up with sixth spot in race two after benefitting from the incident that saw both Gabriele Tarquini and Alex MacDowall forced into retirement.
However, despite being first BMW home in both races, Coronel admitted that he was hoping for some help in order to help him challenge towards the front of the field.
“The first race was a rather dull affair - even more so because Bennani came back onto the track after he had had a puncture and kept driving in front of me, although he was a lap down,” Coronel said. “Blue flags were being waved all over the place, but nothing happened so I lost contact with the drivers in front of me.
“In the second race, I had a good start, made up two positions right away and slotted into eighth place. Tarquini and MacDowall were in front of me and fortunately I was just able to avoid them and there wasn't too much debris on the track. The safety car was deployed and Nykjaer closed up behind me. Fortunately, the race itself only lasted one more lap [after the Safety Car] and with some blocking manoeuvres, I managed to keep Nykjaer at bay.
“Sixth place for me is the best result of the year so far, [but] let's hope that something will happen for the next race. The organisers have said that they will again have a look at the vehicle weights and, of course, I hope that we will be allowed to take some more weight out of the car.”
Coronel's video diary from the weekend, where he also celebrated his birthday, can be seen below.