Yesterday’s qualifying session for the FIA World Touring Car Championship’s second round, the Race of Spain at Valencia, had plenty of drama for a couple of competitors, not least of whom was ROAL Motorsport driver Tom Coronel.
The Dutch driver had proven particularly quick in the two free practice sessions held earlier in the day, but he admitted in the lead-up to qualifying that a top-six grid result would be a stretch, particularly when pitted against the works Chevrolet Cruzes.
Disaster then struck on his out-lap in Q1 when his driveshaft broke, and he limped back to the pits. With the session only running for twenty minutes, it would take a miracle for his team to fix the problem before the end of the session.
He had one opportunity to register a flying lap that would be quick enough to get him into the top-twelve placings and qualify him for a berth in the second phase of qualifying, but he pulled a rapid lap out of the bag to go third-quickest in the session.
He then backed this up with another top-three effort in Q2, which gives him a third-placed starting position for Race 1, and an eighth-placed grid slot for Race 2.
Check out Tom’s video highlights from the Saturday. As always, Tom’s production team – which follows him to every race on the WTCC calendar have done a splendid job putting this together, and the split-screen in-car footage is great to watch (particularly the footwell camera).
The session also featured a hairy moments for other drivers. Gabriele Tarquini had a big off-track moment in the dying minutes of Q2, while his Lukoil Racing team-mate Aleksei Dudukalo watchied his SEAT go up in flames in parc ferme – were it not for the quick actions of the mechanics from the AON Ford team, his car would have suffered plenty of damage.