Tom Coronel (38) will start the 2011 World Touring Car Championship with a BMW 320 TC. After six seasons of WTCC with Dutch driver Tom Coronel is enthusiastic about this new opportunity. Following two days of testing at the Vallelunga track near Rome with the new BMW 320 TC of the Italian team ROAL Motorsport, the driver is very confident for the upcoming season. “The new 1.6 litre turbo engine has a great throttle response and provides a lot of power.“, the 38-year old driver says.
New regulations forced BMW Motorsport to adapt all their WTCC cars. The rearwheel driven car will have a 1.6 litre turbo engine, with an output of around 315 horsepower. Coming from the front wheel driven Seats, Coronel had to adapt a little. “For me, the test was a good way to familiarise with the new car. The different character of the turbo engine and, of course, the rear-wheel drive, forced me to adapt my driving style.”
Tom Coronel doesn’t expect any problems with the rear wheel driven cars. He has a long list of experience with rear wheel driven touring cars and Formula cars. The hight of his career was winning the Formula Nippon championship in 1999. After that he tested for Formula 1 team Arrows, raced the ETCC with BMW and won the Independants Trophy of the WTCC two times. He is also a frequent competitor of Le Mans. 2011 will mark a new chapter in his racingcareer. Lead by team principals and former racing drivers Roberto Ravaglia and Umberto Grano, ROAL Motorsport will be running Tom Coronel’s BMW this season. Ravaglia won the WTCC title in 1987 with BMW.
Tom Coronel continues “In this combination, several podium results should be within reach. It won’t be easy, but the potential is there.”
The FIA WTCC calendar consists of 12 raceweekends with 24 races and will kick off at the Brazilian circuit of Curitiba on March 20th.
A video of Tom Coronel testing the BMW 320 TC at Vallelunga last week is available:
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