Tom Coronel ended his victory drought in the second FIA World Touring Championship race in Slovakia on Sunday and then admitted at the finish that the result was well 'needed'.
Coronel, who finished fifth in the opening race, last tasted the victory champagne almost 18 months ago, when he triumphed at Suzuka in Japan.
“The car felt really nice and you could see that I could play with it on the lap after the finish. We needed this,” he confirmed to the official WTCC site. “We were fighting hard last year and ROAL Motorsport is always fighting because the Italian style is that 'second is first loser!'
“I saw in the first race that I had a good chance when I was behind [James] Nash; the leading drivers were not pulling away, so I knew that I had to make a good start [in race two] and I would be in with a chance.
“I had to keep [Pepe] Oriola behind me for the first few laps [in race two], but then I saw that his tyres were starting to go off and then I thought 'okay, here I go'.
"In terms of speed, we know we cannot compete with the Chevrolet and Honda, but the BMW is solid, consistent and it doesn't break down. I know the car well now after the previous two years and if we have circuits with lots of corners we know we can push the others hard. We know the fight for the title will be between the Chevrolet and Honda, but if they make a mistake, ta-da I'll be there!”
Coronel's strong weekend hauls him up into the fight for third place in the Drivers' Championship – and although he is currently in seventh with 47 points, he is only ten points behind Michel Nykjaer in P3.
Coronel will now be looking to push even further up the order next weekend at the Hungaroring, where BMW has performed well in the past.
by Dexter Fielding