Coronel says brake problems cost him "easy" Marrakesh win
ROAL Motorsport's Tom Coronel was disappointed with the outcome of the first WTCC race in Marrakesh, after a brake problem saw him drop from the lead and trail home in eighth place.
In searing heat in the African country, Coronel’s Chevrolet began to experience brake problems after just a handful of laps.
The Dutchman eventually slid wide on lap 12, handing the lead to the rival Chevrolet of Esteban Guerrieri, who would go on to take his first victory in the WTCC in only his third start.
“It was something we should have known as we had it here two years ago,” said Coronel. “I already had problems in free practice.
"We never did more than three laps, and after three laps I said ‘boys, we have brake problems and we should bleed it’. In Race 2 we changed the brake fluid and it was perfect.
“This win should have been quite easy, I had a brilliant start, everything was under control, I was so relaxed, but then my brakes went.”
Coronel rescued a pair of points finishes in Marrakesh, finishing eighth again in the second race, fighting off Rob Huff's Citroen for 12 laps.
Guerrieri admits win chance "lucky"
Meanwhile, Guerrieri admitted that the events of qualifying played into his hands, allowing him to start Race 1 from the front row, and take the lead after Coronel's brake issues.
With Honda's Ryo Michigami and the Lada of Yann Ehrlacher excluded from qualifying for missing scrutineering, Guerrieri was promoted to ninth on the grid for the main race, which translated to second for the championship's opening race.
“I was a little bit unlucky in qualifying as we were set for a better position," said Guerrieri.
“I saw a yellow flag in front of me which was out for Coronel and I had to back off, else I would have been about six-tenths quicker; so I was unlucky there, but I was lucky in another way when two guys were penalised.
“When you get an opportunity, that’s when you need to take that chance and make it happen. Unfortunately Tom had a problem with his brakes, and I saw brakes were crucial in this race so I managed mine a bit.
"From half-race on I was being quite gentle on the braking, but in Race 2 I pushed a lot as I was last anyway to see the pace of the car and I was fast.”
Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes
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