Tom Coronel will remain true to his yellow roots in this season’s WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO. But while his car colour remains the same, the Dutchman will be CUPRA-powered following his switch to Comtoyou Racing for 2019.
Also new for WTCR / OSCARO season two is Coronel’s race number, with 50 replacing 9 to acknowledge main sponsor DHL’s half-century. “I want to put DHL in the limelight, this seemed like a nice gesture to me,” said the 46-year-old Coronel. “All the other sponsors from last year remained involved, so the rest of the car will also be a familiar sight for everyone. That can also be said about the second car, also yellow, to be driven by Aurélien Panis.”
Having scored points in a Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR in 2018, Coronel will be at the wheel of a CUPRA TCR run by another Belgian outfit, Comtoyou Racing, when WTCR Race of Morocco opens the new season from 5-7 April. “I am glad that an experienced touring car driver like Tom has chosen our team,” said Comtoyou’s François Verbist. “I am convinced that we can score some really good results together.”
Of his prospects for 2019, Coronel said: “It should be possible to enjoy the occasional moment of fame. It will not be easy as many famous drivers from the past will be making their return. On the other hand, I have a lot of confidence in the car and in the team. With the early and thorough preparation, but also with one year of WTCR experience, it should be possible for me to compete for podium finishes. We have 10 race weekends with three races each to make it happen. Let’s hope we can steer clear from damage and can be competitive. I will fight for it, I am really eager.”
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, the WTCR / OSCARO promoter, added: “Tom is part of the World Touring Car fabric and will be a very popular addition to the #WTCR2019SUPERGRID based on his huge fan following and media work. But he’s also extremely serious and passionate about racing and will put all his energy into making 2019 a better season than 2018.”
Fully refreshed following his Dakar Rally finish last month, Coronel will begin his WTCR / OSCARO bid during a two-day test at his home track, Zandvoort, from tomorrow (27 February). The former Dutch Grand Prix venue will host WTCR Race of Netherlands from 17-19 May as part of the Jumbo Racedagen event when Max Verstappen will be demonstrating his Red Bull Formula One car.