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Coronel targets WTCR… once he’s tamed The Beast!

Coronel targets WTCR… once he’s tamed The Beast!

05/01/2018 06:00

Tom Coronel is up for the FIA World Touring Car Cup – just as soon as he’s finished taming The Beast on the Dakar Rally, which starts in the Peruvian capital Lima tomorrow (Saturday).

Coronel, an international touring car stalwart since 2001, says he’s “more enthusiastic than ever” about taking part in the inaugural World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) having tried TCR technology for size in 2017.

WTCR takes over from the World Touring Car Championship for 2018 and Coronel wants to be on the grid when the exciting new era begins in Morocco on 7 April.

“My target is to be there,” said the Dutchman. “I drove the Honda Civic in TCR Benelux last year and really enjoyed the racing, especially at Spa where there were six leaders in six laps and all brands had different strengths at different stages of the race.

“I have a few opportunities and we’ll wait and see what we can do but the new regulations give me a chance to battle in the front instead of filling up the field and making other people heroes. In my opinion this is the best deal ever done in the last 10 years of touring car racing.”

Before WTCR 2018 begins, Coronel and twin brother Tim will team-up for the Dakar Rally in a Jefferies Racing buggy, which they’ve nicknamed ‘The Beast’.

It will be Tom Coronel’s fifth Dakar and the second time he’s joined forces in the same entry as Tim Coronel, who is preparing for Dakar start number 11.

For the 9000-kilometre cross-country epic, which starts in Peru, stops off in Bolivia and finishes in Argentina on 20 January, the Coronels have chosen The Beast, powered by a 6.2-litre Chevrolet LS3 engine and weighing 1850 kilograms.

“Driving alone is not human because you hardly sleep and that’s not healthy,” said Coronel of his previous solo Dakar adventures. “I would not put my biggest opponent in that situation but this car is really Coronel-style, it’s a big passion car, popular with the fans. Jefferies Racing have proved themselves in the Dakar and we have the same passion, the same feeling as they do.

“For sure 15 days in the same car as my brother will be tough because we are quite strong to each other but we are twins and only twins can understand each other, our feelings like we do. There will be some difficulties but 10 seconds later every problem is solved. It always works out.”

RTL GP television will cover the Coronels on their Dakar adventure with Tom carrying his TomCam to document his experiences first hand, while Eurosport will broadcast extensive coverage of the event. Click here to watch The Beast in action.

Tom Coronel and twin brother Tim have finished the gruelling Dakar Rally in South America, reaching the end of the final stage in Córdoba, Argentina, yesterday just outside the top 30.

Tiago Monteiro, a race winner and title contender during the final season of the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2017, has received Portugal’s Sport Merit Award.

Comtoyou Racing has signed its second FIA World Touring Car Cup contender in as many days with the addition of Aurélien Panis to its WTCR line-up for 2018.

WTCR Q&A: Denis Dupont

18/01/2018 12:00 - 2017

The 25-year-old Belgian will carry the hopes of a nation on his shoulders – and his Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS – when he contests the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup for the RACB National Team. He’s had this to say.

The 25-year-old Belgian will carry the hopes of a nation on his shoulders – and his Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS – when he contests the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup for the RACB National Team. He’s had this to say.

Belgium’s motorsport federation, the RACB, has identified the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup as the ultimate international launch pad for its young star driver, Denis Dupont.

The man behind the Honda Civic Type R TCR project hopes several examples of the car will be on the grid when the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup begins in Morocco on 7 April.