Tom Coronel scored a World Touring Car Championship Series win for BMW in the second race at the Suzuka circuit in Japan in October.
Coronel had qualified his ROAL Motorsport 320 TC fifth on the grid for race one and second on the grid for race two. An incident on the first lap of race one sent him to the pits, but he returned with four laps remaining in the 25-lap sprint after the crew repaired substantial damage to the right front suspension. Had he not returned he would have lost his front row grid position for race two.
Chevrolet’s Alain Menu went on to win with a three-second margin over his closest competitor, his Chevrolet Cruze teammate Robert Huff. The best finishing BMW in the race was the fifth-place Engstler Racing 320 TC of Kristian Poulsen. (Text continues after photo)
Coronel took the lead at the beginning of race two as pole sitter Darryll O’Young had a bad start in his Chevrolet. Coronel led the balance of the race, holding off the hard-charging Chevrolet of Yvan Muller, who was on the BMW racer’s tail all the way.
Team principal Roberto Ravaglia said, "It has been an amazing day for our team. The crash in race one risked to seriously compromise race two where starting from the first row we had the concrete chance of aiming at the victory. The team's men have been superlative and fixed the car in record time while Coronel has been perfect in running a flawless race despite the pressure from rivals".
The World Touring Car Championship finishes its season in China with an event in Shanghai on November 6 and the finale in Macau on November 20.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor, bmwcca.org
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