ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel in his 320 TC finished on the podium in the second World Touring Car Championship sprint at Brno in the Czech Republic. He had led the race until he was overtaken by Chevrolet’s Yvan Muller on lap five of the ten-lap sprint.
Coronel, the third fastest qualifier, had finished fourth in race one behind a trio of Chevrolet Cruzes led by championship points leader Robert Huff. The combination of Coronel’s performance and the points finishes of several other BMW racers elevated the combined BMW customer teams to second in manufacturers’ points behind Chevrolet, the only factory team in the series this season.
In race one, Coronel ran in third until three laps from the end, when he was overtaken by Chevrolet’s Alain Menu. BMW racers Kristian Poulsen, Norbert Michelisz, and Xavier Villa finished fifth, eighth, and ninth, respectively. In race two, when Coronel finished second, Villa and Poulsen were in the points again, finishing seventh and eighth.
It was a rough weekend for Norbert Michelisz, who had finished second in his home race in Hungary two weeks earlier. Michelisz was demoted to the rear of grid for both races because his 320 TC was found to be underweight, and was then given a 30-second penalty for avoidable contact with the Chevrolet Cruze of Darryl O'Young.
ROAL Motorsport team principal Roberto Ravaglia said, “It has been a very positive weekend for the team since qualifying where we set the foundations for the results obtained in the races. Coronel fought with great determination and I am very satisfied for this podium that awards the work of the whole team.”
Coronel is fifth in drivers points going into the series next races in Portugal on July 3.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor, bmwcca.org
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