WTCC: Coronel resists Chilton for second 2016 win

WTCC: Coronel resists Chilton for second 2016 win

International Racing

WTCC: Coronel resists Chilton for second 2016 win

By

Tom Coronel took a controlled victory in the first World Touring Car Championship race on the Vila Real streets, keeping Tom Chilton at bay for his second win of 2016. Having started the reversed-grid race from pole, Coronel made a strong getaway and managed his pace from there until the finish to claim the sixth win of his WTCC career.

As Dutchman Coronel pulled away well at the start in his ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze, Chilton jumped ahead of Lada’s Nicky Catsburg with an impressive launch in his Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen C-Elysee to snatch second.

Chilton looked the faster of the two in the early laps, particularly in the circuit’s heavy braking zones, but with the tight confines providing few overtaking opportunities, Coronel’s lead looked increasingly safe as the race wore on.

Coronel maintained a small but healthy advantage over the final few laps as the Yokohama tires held up better than feared in the Portuguese heat, eventually crossing the line 0.597 seconds clear of Chilton.

A second victory of the season means Coronel is the only man aside from Citroen’s Jose Maria Lopez to have multiple wins to his name in 2016, and also marked only the second time that Coronel has won two races in a year in the WTCC.

“Of course I felt the pressure,” said Coronel of Chilton’s chase. “He’s clever. He was strong in the braking zones where I was saving a little bit, but I didn’t make any mistakes.”

Catsburg hung on to claim third despite his brake pedal going long and his cooling system falling out two laps into the race, keeping Chilton’s team-mate Mehdi Bennani and championship leader Lopez behind.

Rob Huff completed one of only a handful of overtakes in the race to clinch sixth, getting by Thed Bjork into the roundabout at the end of the penultimate lap. Huff had attempted to line up the move earlier in the race, but got his best run coming off the Turn 19 right-hander and created a gap with his run down the hill before squeezing Bjork out.

Polestar driver Bjork came home seventh, having held off Huff’s Honda teammate Norbert Michelisz on the final lap, while Yvan Muller and race two polesitter Tiago Monteiro completed the points-scorers.

RESULTS – 13 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 26m11.089s
2 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 0.597s
3 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Lada 2.626s
4 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 3.145s
5 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Racing Citroen 3.626s
6 Rob Huff Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 4.332s
7 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 5.155s
8 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 5.452s
9 Yvan Muller Citroen Racing Citroen 7.411s
10 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 8.054s
11 James Thompson Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 9.711s
12 Gabriele Tarquini LADA Sport Lada 15.602s
13 Robert Dahlgren Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 20.282s
14 Ferenc Ficza Zengo Motorsport Honda 30.555s
15 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 32.774s
16 Gregoire Demoustier Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 33.218s
17 Daniel Nagy Zengo Motorsport Honda 1m07.844s
Hugo Valente LADA Sport Lada Retirement

 

Originally on Autosport.com

MX-5 Cup | Round 2 – Daytona | Livestream

More RACER