Tom Coronel keeps ROAL World Touring Car drive

Tom Coronel will race ROAL Motorsport's BMW 320 TC for a third consecutive season in the World Touring Car Championship

Tom Coronel keeps ROAL World Touring Car drive

The popular Dutchman has been the highest-placed BMW driver in the WTCC for the last two years, finishing fourth and fifth in the overall standings in 2011 and '12 respectively.

ROAL's two-car BMW line-up is expected to benefit from changes to the technical regulations for 2013, which stipulate that front and rear wheel drive cars will now have the same base weight.

"It seems that front and rear-wheel drive cars will all have the same weight, so of course there are some small extra [modifications] needed," Coronel told AUTOSPORT.

"We now have a plastic rear window, which is a good little step. Last year whenever we were given a weight break of minus 20kg, we found that we could never achieve that weight because the car was fundamentally around 30kg too heavy. We're working on that for the coming season and the window should help."

Coronel's spell at ROAL has coincided with the works RML Chevrolets' domination of the WTCC. But with Chevrolet withdrawing its factory involvement, Coronel believes his prospects have improved.

"Honda, of course, will probably have the best package, as they are a manufacturer," said Coronel. "But you have to remember it's their first year, and everyone else will be more or less the same as there are no more factory Chevrolets.

"Usually in racing, with less money, you have less speed. I believe we should be capable of finishing on the podium in the championship, and hopefully picking up some wins along the way."

ROAL and Coronel are expected to test three days before the start of the season at Monza in March.

A suspension development programme is planned in association with Dutch company Intrax.

Roberto Ravaglia's team is expected to announce its second driver shortly.

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Series WTCC
Author Peter Mills
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