Touring Cars: Netherlands grab the gold medal in dramatic Touring Car final

Touring Cars: Netherlands grab the gold medal in dramatic Touring Car final

Team Netherlands could celebrate their second gold medal of the 2022 FIA Motorsport Games after Tom Coronel grabbed a dramatic victory in the main Touring Car race at Circuit Paul Ricard.

The former FIA WTCR racer inherited the lead of the 30-minute race on the second lap after the weekend’s dominant nation, Team Belgium, slowed on the main straight with a terminal mechanical problem that put pole-sitter Gilles Magnus out of the race.

With the lead car out of medal contention, Coronel’s similar Audi RS3 LMS took the opportunity given to him with both hands as he kept himself out of trouble to bring home a popular victory for Team Netherlands by just over four seconds.

Second place on the road went to Team Ireland, but a five-second penalty for Jack Young meant Team Spain inherited the silver medal after Isidro Callejas Gomez kept their Cupra’s nose clean in an intense contest.

Young had fought his way by the similar Honda Civic Type-R of Team Argentina’s Ignacio Montenegro at turn five for third place early on, then grabbing second spot with a similarly bold lunge around the outside of Team France’s Teddy Clairet in the Mistral chicane.

Contact was made, Team France later retiring from the race while Young was penalised for his part in the incident - still hanging on to claim the bronze medal after chasing Coronel to the chequered flag.

Team Argentina finished a strong fourth ahead of the Team Latvia Audi of Valters Zviedres in fifth place, while one of the star performances of the main event was that of Team Sweden after Jan Backman charged through from 16th to sixth place after his earlier misfortune.

Hong Kong China battled hard to finish seventh with Andy Cheuk Wai Yan ahead of the Team UK Honda Civic Type-R of Chris Smiley, who fought to eighth place after surviving contact with Team Switzerland at the final corner. Team Canada emerged from that intense battle in ninth with the top 10 rounded out by the Audi of Team Venezuela’s Sergio Lopez Bolotin.

Team Brazil were a major part of the battle for eighth place throughout the race, but contact during the many tussles along the way left the Cupra of Raphael Reis De Sa hobbled with terminal damage on penultimate lap.