TCR Europe Zandvoort Race One: Coronel battles back to take victory on home soil

June 19, 2021

by Kevin Henderson

Tom Coronel battled back to win the opening race of the TCR Europe series in his native Netherlands. Despite not making the best of starts and dropping back, he took the victory after also getting involved in a tangle with his team mate.

Audi looked to be the most competitive car on the grid after qualifying, three out of the top four slots were taking by the manufacturer. A thorn amongst the Audi's side was British racer Jack Young who snuck his Brutal Fish Civic onto pole position ahead of Dutchman Coronel.

The former Clio Cup champion made a blistering start and pulled a gap on his rivals by the first corner. Coronel seemed to get bogged down a bit and dropped back into third with his team mate Nicolas Baert moving up into second. Just behind there were problems for Mehdi Bennani. The 2020 champion seemed to have a problem with his windscreen wipers stuck in the middle of the screen.

His team mate Niels Langeveld made the most of Bennani's confusion and sent the Hyundai up the inside, with Jeremy Clairet following suit. The Moroccan's wipers getting stuck may have been part of a bigger issue as he ended up finishing the race in 12th.

Coronel seemed determined to make up for his poor start, he was on the trail of the Belgian driver and made a move up the inside at Malborobocht and found a way past. His Comtoyou Racing team mate didn't seem too keen on relinquishing the position, Coronel had pretty much the entire car in front on the exit of the corner and rather than Baert easing off and letting Coronel have a clean pass, he kept on the gas and caught the back of the Dutchman's Audi. The contact sent them both out wide and onto the gravel, allowing Dušan Borković to move himself into second spot.

It didn't take Coronel long to get back ahead of the Serbian, and on the fourth lap put in the quickest lap of the day in his hunt for Young in first spot. Coronel took his time and on the seventh lap pounced. He sent the Audi up the inside of the Honda in a carbon copy of the move he pulled on his team mate earlier in the race. Once ahead Coronel never looked troubled and went on to take victory.

The rest of the race was fairly uneventful, the only noticeable position changes being just behind the top three of Coronel, Young and Borković. Baert, after his coming together with his team mate dropped a further two places with Langeveld and Franco Giralami getting ahead of the Belgian driver.

The win allowed Coronel to close the gap on championship leader Mikel Azcona, who misses this round due to his PURE ETCR commitments. The flying Dutchman will be hoping to take further advantage in the second race of the weekend which takes place tomorrow at 11:30 UK time.

Image credit: TCR Europe Touring Car Series


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