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WTCC Slovakia 2013: Calm and cool Coronel claims race two win

28 April 2013

Tom Coronel has taken his first win in the FIA World Touring Car Championship for nearly two years after triumphing in the second race in Slovakia.

Coronel started from pole position in his ROAL Motorsport BMW after the reverse grid rules played to his advantage and then led from start-to-finish.

In the end the Flying Dutchman pulled out an unstoppable advantage as the rest of the field squabbled over the remaining positions.

He also posted the fastest lap of the race - although it was some way off the new lap record established by Gabriele Tarquini in race one earlier this afternoon.

Yvan Muller meanwhile managed to get the better of Tarquini as they both battled by Rob Huff and Pepe Oriola, the latter initially holding up the pack as Coronel pulled away. Muller finished second extending his advantage over Tarquini in the championship by a few priceless points. Tarquini had to be content with the final podium place after being unable to repeat the success of race one.

Reigning champion, Rob Huff came home a creditable fourth and top SEAT after a disastrous race one, although he lost a possible podium on lap nine, after running wide in turn one. Nevertheless he managed to hold off Tiago Monteiro, who was always there or thereabouts and who finished in P5. Oriola dropped back and was lucky to finish sixth ahead of Tom Chilton and Alex MacDowall, the top independent.

Mehdi Bennani grabbed a few more points in his private ProTeam BMW and was ninth with Daryll O'Young, who kept the pressure on him, a solid tenth despite having wrecked his BMW in qualifying on Saturday.

Stafano D'Aste and Michel Nykjaer were eleventh and twelfth. Nykjaer was unable to make inroads towards a points finish but kept ahead of Freddy Barth in 13th and former double BTCC champion, James Thompson, who had a relatively poor day in his LADA Sport LUKOIL car. Marc Basseng and Fernando Monje were next up in positions 15 and 16 with race one independent winner, James Nash, who ran wide at turn one into the gravel, an unhappy 17th.

Tom Boardman finally saw the chequered flag again, albeit down in 18th, after a luck free couple of races with engine gremlins.

Of the rest, Rene Munnich and Mikhail Kozlovskiy made no progress and were 19th and 20th. Norbert Michelisz, who ran with the leading pack for the majority of the race, suffered mechanical trouble on the last lap and came over the finish line as the last runner.

The Team Engstler BMW cars both pulled in early in the race with mechanical problems ending a disappointing day for the German squad.


by Dexter Fielding


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