After Gabriele Tarquini’s lights-to-flag victory in Race 1, this time it was the turn of Tom Coronel to accomplish the same feat.
Sun 28.04.13, 5:05PM
From the standing start, Coronel was first into Turn 1 and then never looked back, pulling away from the battle for second place that was being waged behind him and eventually crossing the finish line nearly three seconds clear. The Race 1 podium had been an all-Honda affair, but Race 2 saw three different manufacturers occupying the top three places; Yvan Muller finished second in a Chevrolet Cruze while Tarquini’s Honda was third. The maximum points in the Yokohama Trophy went to Alex MacDowall, who finished eighth in the bamboo-engineering Chevrolet.
When the lights went out, Michel Nykjær stalled his Chevrolet on the startline and was narrowly avoided by Fredy Barth’s BMW. With Coronel then driving an unchallenged race at the head of the field, the battle for the remainder of the podium places took centre stage; the SEAT cars of Pepe Oriola and Rob Huff both took turns at occupying second place, with mistakes by both drivers eventually allowing Muller to finish as runner-up to a clearly delighted Coronel. Tarquini followed up his Race 1 win with third place in Race 2 – results that move the Italian driver up into second place behind Muller in the Drivers’ Championship.
As if Coronel’s win wasn’t enough reason for his team to celebrate, his colleague Darryl O’Young eventually finished in tenth place, after the ROAL Motorsport team had worked long into the night repairing the extensive damage caused by his accident in Qualifying yesterday.
Tom Coronel: “The car felt really nice and you could see that I could play with it on the lap after the finish! We needed this; we were fighting hard last year and ROAL Motorsport is always fighting because the Italian style is that ‘second is first loser’! I saw in the first race that I had a good chance when I was behind Nash; the leading drivers were not pulling away and so I knew that I had to make a good start and I would be in with a chance. I had to keep Oriola behind me for the first few laps, but then I saw that his tyres were starting to go off and then I thought okay, here I go. Speed-wise we know we cannot compete with the Chevrolet and the Honda cars but the BMW is solid and consistent and it doesn’t break down. I know the car well now after the last two years and if we have circuits with lots of corners we know we can push the others hard. We know the fight for the title will be between the Chevrolet and the Honda, but if they make a mistake, ta-da I will be there!”
Lap 1 – Nykjær stalled on the startline. Coronel was first into T1 ahead of Oriola, Huff and Monterio. Barth through the gravel at T1, with Nash through the gravel at T2.
Lap 2 – Contact between Monteiro and Muller at T1, with Monteiro dropping to 7th. D’Aste passed Michelisz for 8th
Lap 4 – Muller passed Huff for 3rd, but Huff re-took the place. Michelisz passed D’Aste for 8th. Monteiro passed Chilton for 6th
Lap 5 – Contact between Muller and Tarquini. MacDowall passed Bennani for 9th
Lap 6 – Oriola ran wide at T2, allowing Huff, Muller, Tarquini and Monterio to pass. Oriola. Nykjaer passed Thompson for 13th
Lap 7 – O’Young passed D’Aste for 11th. Barth passed Thompson for 14th
Lap 9 – Huff ran wide at T1, allowing Muller and Tarquini to pass. Michelisz dropped to 10th behind MacDowall and Bennani.
Lap 10 – Coronel took the win. Michelisz dropped back and eventually finished last.