At the 2020 Hankook 12H MONZA in 2020, World Touring Car staple Tom Coronel won the GT4 class with his brother Tim in the most recent outing to-date for ‘Team Coronel’ in the 24H SERIES.
Words – James Gent
Images – Petr Frýba
Since their debut together at the 2007 edition, the Coronel brothers have become a fan favourite on the Dakar Rally, even securing their best finish – 26th – aboard their bespoke ‘Beast’ in 2021.
It’s more of a rarity though for Tim and Tom Coronel to compete together on-track. Indeed, in the 24H SERIES, the Coronel brothers have done so only once, at the inaugural Hankook 12H MONZA back in 2020.
Together with Dutch contemporary Jan Jaap van Roon on his 24H SERIES debut, Tim (also making his maiden series appearance) and World Touring Car staple Tom lined up aboard an MDM Motorsport-entered BMW M4 GT4. A race that could have ended disastrously before it before it had even begun, Tom having almost forgotten to check-in his helmet at Schiphol airport en-route to Milan!
Fortunately, the weekend itself got off to a smoother start when Tim secured class pole position and 12th on the overall grid. Granted, the #450 BMW M4 was the only GT4 entrant at the 2020 Hankook 12H MONZA, but, still…
The smooth run, a minor delay in the refuelling bay notwithstanding, continued over the opening four hours, the trio finishing ‘part one’ just 45 seconds outside the overall top 10. A precautionary 18-minute pit stop just a few laps after Sunday’s restart – MDM was taking a close look at the BMW’s brakes – meant Tim, Tom and Jan dropped back to 19th, though that, minus a front left puncture during the closing hour and atrocious weather, was the only blemish. The trio recovered to 14th at the flag, ‘Team Coronel’ taking GT4 class victory in the process.
Team Coronel’s Monza weekend wasn’t done yet either. After a 12-hour race, the brothers hit the road shortly after the podium celebrations to make the 12-hour drive back to The Netherlands in time for Tom’s drift course the following morning!
While Tom has yet to return to the 24H SERIES, Tim was in action just one round later – again with Jan Jaap van Roon – at the Hockenheimring. Tim and van Roon even took their second consecutive 24H SERIES win, in TCX this time, alongside Tim’s partner, and former ‘Racing Diva,’ Gaby Uljee.