ROAL Motorsport sign-up Tom Coronel completed his first ever outing in the turbocharged BMW 320TC he will pilot in the 2011 World Touring Car Championship season.

The Dutchman completed 55 laps of the Vallelunga circuit in Italy as part of running some set-up work and for the former SEAT driver to get used to the handling characteristics of his new motor.

“This is of course completely different from the [SEAT] León that I have driven for the last few years. Although I did use a turbo engine last year, you can’t really compare them,” he said after the day’s test session.

“This is a 1.6 [litre] petrol engine in a rear-wheel driven car, compared to a 2-litre front-wheel driven car. The main difference in the engine characteristics is the fact that the extra turbo power comes in straight away. That’s something I will have to get used to.

Despite his rather abrupt throttle, the WTCC race-winner was pleased with the day’s proceedings and is looking forward to continue thrilling fans with his flamboyant driving style.

“For the spectators it will be very interesting to watch as I make a lot of power slides at the exit of the corners now!” he joked.

Coronel will have more running at the circuit before the team packs up and heads to Brazil for the championship’s season opener at Curitiba.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.