Tom Coronel trusts WTCR officials to ‘properly assess’ balance of performance »TouringCars.Net
The start of the 2021 FIA World Touring Car Cup season has been difficult for the brands of the Volkswagen Group, Audi and CUPRA.
With cars sharing much of the same running gear, the two manufacturers have suffered two opening rounds to forget, thanks to rather unfavorable performance balance measures imposed on them.
Tom Coronel, one of the Audi contingent, was frustrated with the situation for him and his teammates at the start of the year, although with a BoP overhaul expected ahead of the third round of the season, the Dutchman is hopeful that the WTCR governing bodies will level the playing field a bit more.
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“[This weekend] It was the first time that we had a comparison with the competition on a real track with the new Audi, because the NÃ¼rburgring is of course not a benchmark. he said.
âIt went well there, but we have already seen that others are much faster, which I could still compensate with my knowledge of the track. Here, on a regular track, it turns out that the Audi is lacking from the start, just like the Cupras, which of course have the same basis. It sucks.
âThe free practice sessions went well. Qualifying was very tight: the four Audis in less than two tenths of a second, and the Cupras somewhere close as well. I finished 18th, which of course was not the position I had expected.
“The car would be evaluated after the first two events so I guess the organization will do it right.”
However, with those BoP revisions not coming into play for the weekend races at Estoril, Coronel knew it would be about squeezing as many points as possible out of a tricky set of circumstances.
Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go as he would have hoped in the first race.
“I was already struggling with [Rob] Huff in the third corner, which finished in tenth place, so that could have been a hell of a [good result], recalls Coronel.
“But then I was pushed by Huff and [Luca] Engstler. They just kept pushing, until I was in the gravel.
“Suddenly, I had to join at the back, I was still able to gain a place by overtaking [Bence] Boldizs, but more than 17th place was not there, so nothing special.
The Dutchman would get another strong start in the second race of the day, but an erratic maneuver from Mikel Azcona meant Coronel’s quest for points would once again remain unsatisfied.
âAnother good start, I got through the bobby pins well,â he said. âI was already in 11th place with Azcona, but then I got a mega pound of Azcona on my right front wheel, so I went right-angled left into the wall.
âAzcona also got a passing penalty for that because he suddenly went straight to the left and hit me. So that was it.
“He came to see me to apologize [after the race] because he didn’t know I was there.
âIt wasn’t the weekend we would have liked. It was disappointing, but every once in a while you have a weekend [like this]. We will wait again [to round three] soon.”