He comes from a motor sport-loving family. His father, Tom Coronel Sr., as his twin brother Tim Alfa Coronel was also racing driver, (the combination of the second name of the twins gives Alfa Romeo ). His achievements are winning the Japanese Formula 3 Championship in 1997, the prestigious Individual Contest Masters of Formula 3 (also known as the Marlboro Masters ) of Zandvoort in the same year and the Formula Nippon championship in 1999.
Coronel began his car racing career in 1990 in the Dutch Citroën AX Cup after he turned out to be very talented at a local racing school. After his debut year he could win in 1991 with four wins and 105 points to the Cup. He also won an international Citroën AX in Barcelona in the same year. In 1992 he was promoted to the Dutch Touring Car Championship, he drove a BMW 320i. He managed to become champion, which he defeated his teammate and older brother Raymond Coronel right away. He also participated in the same year on the Dutch Formula Ford championship, as the team's riders Fresh, in part. The end of 1992 he decided to first focus on formula racing cars.
He remained in 1993 with the team Fresh in Formula Ford and managed with three race wins to become World Champion. In addition, he also drove in the Belgian Championship, he reached there in the same year in second place behind the Belgians Geoffroy Horion, in turn, in the Dutch Cup second behind Coronel was. With the German Cup, he took part in the same year, where he achieved some podiums. He finished the year with a ninth place at the Formula Ford Festival.
1994 Coronel debuted for the Dutch Van Amersfoort Racing team in the Euro Series of Formula Opel Lotus. Although he was with eight first grid positions and two victories quite successful, it was not enough to win the European Championship. Secured the title instead Marco Campos. Along with Donny Crevel, he secured the Netherlands the title of best motor sports nation and was elected Dutch Driver of the Year. This gave him the funds to the following year to be able to drive in the German Formula 3. He started with Ralf Schumacher in the WTS team that Michael Schumacher and Jos Verstappen has organized. As a car came a Dallara chassis, which was driven by a Opel engine used. With 74 total points in sixteen races, he finished seventh in the overall standings.
Success in Japan
In 1996, Coronel opted for the team TOM in the Japanese Formula 3 to start. He won the race in Sugo and finished at the end of the third season championship course. The following year he was clearly superior over its competitors and was six out of seven events in which he participated, decide for yourself. So it was in 1997 Japanese Formula 3 champion.
1998 Coronel was promoted to higher classes of motorsport. He remained in Japan and participated in the team of Satoru Nakajima part in both Formula Nippon, and on the Japanese GT Championship. His first year in Formula Nippon was only a year of learning. Therefore, he succeeded only relatively weak results. Much better he hit in the Japanese GT Championship. Together with his teammate Koji Yamanishi Coronel had on a Honda NSX in the final race championship chances. However, the team already on the formation lap fell out.
Coronel also went again in 1999 in the Formula Nippon and Japanese GT Championship. In Formula Nippon he was a strong contender for the title. He took on the Fuji Speedway his first victory in Formula Nippon and sat down in the fight for the title against his rival Satoshi Motoyama through. In contrast, Coronel drove in the Japanese GT Championship with no chance at the title. In the same year he gave the team Racing for Holland by Jan Lammers made his debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With his team-mate Peter Kox he could keep up long time with the factory team, but had to abandon the race due to technical problems after 213 laps.
Formula 1 test drive
After his successes in Japan Coronel received some attention and focused on finding a place in a Formula 1 race car. He denied a test drive for Arrows, but ultimately Jos Verstappen and Pedro de la Rosa him were preferred. So it was that he was not given a seat at a cockpit at the start of the 2000 season. It was not until later in the season he again took part in the race. He started again at the 24 - hour race at Le Mans and took with Mike Hezemans participated in several rounds of the FIA GT Championship.
Return to racing
2001 Coronel wanted to go back a full season. He signed a contract with BMW works team and participated in the Dutch Touring Car Championship. At the same time he was also contacted by Lister to participate in the FIA GT Championship. In both series, Coronel could win. In the team of Stefan Johansson, he played again the 24 - hour race at Le Mans, but which had to give up in the first part of the race the team.
In 2002, Coronel Touring Car Championship. In the Carly Motors team he was able to achieve three podium finishes. For the first time reached Coronel also the goal at the 24 -hour race of Le Mans and finished eighth. In 2003, he won the European Touring Car Championship with Duncan Huisman private drivers championship for Carly Motors. In the same year Coronel was also a short-term comeback in the Japanese GT Championship. In elderly Honda NSX he could win a race. In Le Mans Coronel again reached the goal, this time in the Spyker C8. In 2004 he won with Paulien Zwart again the private drivers' standings of the European Touring Car Championship. Coronel returned for Le Mans to his former team Racing for Holland back. He had 2004 in Le Mans with Justin Wilson and Ralph Firman strong teammates, but the team could not reach the goal. Denied recovery in Spyker Coronel in 2005 and 2006, the 24 - hour race at Le Mans, which he could not finish in two participations
The European Touring Car Championship in 2005 for the World Touring Car Championship and Coronel moved his team. He joined the team GR Asia, which took with Seat Toledo in. He had a strong year and lost the private drivers championship until the last race. With the new Seat Leon 2006 he won the title back. In 2007, he was less successful, also due to that he was not allowed to attend the private drivers' standings. In addition, Coronel took part in the final round of the BTCC Thruxton. At the 24 -hour race at the Nürburgring Coronel drove the Dodge Viper GTS -R Zakspeed and reached the second place.
The 2008 season was colonel's most successful season in the World Touring Car Championship. He was able to enter the podium in Oschersleben. In Okayama after a strong ride he scored the first victory of his career in the World Touring Car Championship. Meanwhile Coronel is one of the most popular drivers in the racing series.
With his brother Tim, who took part in the Dakar Rally in 2007, launched Tom Coronel first time in 2009 at the Dakar Rally, which led by Argentina and Chile. The brothers arrived in their bowler after more than 9000 kilometers to 70 square target.