CUPRA’s Mattias Ekström emerged from Sunday’s PURE ETCR racing as the new championship leader, after the Swede won his SuperFinal race to move to the top of the standings, as Hyundai’s Augusto Farfus also won his Pool.
Having posted the fastest lap on Saturday afternoon, CUPRA’s Mikel Azcona held the inside line at the start of the Pool A SuperFinal, as the field largely went through the first corners in the same position they started, with the exception of Tom Chilton and Stefano Coletti, who swapped places due to the Alfa Romeo driver’s poor start.
Jordi Gené passed Rodrigo Baptista for third at the hairpin on the first lap, whilst Coletti retook Chilton at the same corner.
Augusto Farfus then moved into the lead at the first corner heading onto the second lap, but Azcona took the place back at the same corner a lap later.
On lap four, Coletti passed Gené for third, the chasing pack having seemingly been more sparing of the use of their power-ups until this stage.
At the front things came to a head on lap five when Azcona aggressively defended his lead from Farfus on the start straight again, pushing the Hyundai driver right over to the pitwall.
Then at Turn 3 the duo made contact, pitching the CUPRA off into the gravel and out as Farfus took the lead.
The penultimate lap saw Coletti attempt to pass Farfus for the lead at the hairpin, but the Italian outbraked himself, and in turn opened himself up to Gené, who stole second heading onto the final lap.
Gené and Coletti then made contact at Turn 3, breaking the right-rear wheel of the Alfa Romeo and turfing the Italian out of the race. Coletti made the move under yellow flags being waved for Azcona’s stranded car from a lap earlier, resulting in his ultimate disqualification from the final.
Batpista thus moved up and claimed second, as Gené held third from Chilton despite front damage to his CUPRA.
Vernay sat alone on the front row for SuperFinal B, with Luca Filippi unable to take the start as the damage which Coletti sustained in the day’s earlier Final proved to take too long for the Romeo Ferraris team to repair to make the start.
Mattias Ekström charged from third up to second at the start, briefly challenging Vernay for the lead, whilst further back Dániel Nagy moved up to third from fifth.
The start of the second lap saw Ekström claim the lead from Vernay at Turn 1, and the Swede never looked back, claiming victory and becoming the King of the Weekend in the process.
Vernay held on to second, despite falling away from Ekström, whilst Webb seized third from Nagy at the hairpin on the final lap after an aggressive pass on the CUPRA driver.
Nagy had run out of power-ups by this stage and could not re-pass Webb and was thus fourth, with Hyundai’s John Filippi in fifth and last after being unable to put up much of a challenge in the battle.
Although unable to take the start, Filippi did take part in the Final, completing four laps after his team had narrowly missed the cut-off to make the start.
King of the Weekend
Having won his SuperFinal, and earlier battles on Friday and Saturday, Ekström leaves Spain as the King of the weekend with 77 points, with no points awarded for the time trials – the only session in which Ekström did not emerge on top in his Pool.
Farfus claimed second, having won his SuperFinal, on 72 points, with Baptista third on 63 points. The rest of the order was Vernay (52), Webb (51), Gené (51), Chilton (43), John Filippi (41), Nagy (37) and Azcona (27).
Victory for Ekström and misfortunate for his car-share team-mate Azcona means the Swede now leads the championship with 146 points, ahead of Vernay (124), Gené (109), Baptista (106), Azcona (104), Farfus (93), Webb (87), Luca Filippi (78), John Filippi (78) and Nagy (68).
SuperFinal A Results
|1||8||Augusto FARFUS||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||7||8:12.815||1:12.734||2|
|2||13||Rodrigo BAPTISTA||Romeo Ferraris – M1RA||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||7||0.496||1:12.233||3|
|3||28||Jordi GENÉ||Zengő Motorsport X CUPRA||CUPRA e-Racer||7||2.789||1:12.869||4|
|4||3||Tom CHILTON||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||7||2.895||1:12.976||6|
|R||96||Mikel AZCONA||Zengő Motorsport X CUPRA||CUPRA e-Racer||4||DNF||1:12.660||1|
|EX||88||Stefano COLETTI||Romeo Ferraris – M1RA||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||6||EXC||1:12.449||5|
SuperFinal B Results
|1||5||Mattias EKSTRÖM||Zengő Motorsport X CUPRA||CUPRA e-Racer||7||1:12.461||3|
|2||69||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||7||2.962||1:12.938||1|
|3||6||Oliver WEBB||Romeo Ferraris – M1RA||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||7||3.942||1:12.810||4|
|4||99||Dániel NAGY||Zengő Motorsport X CUPRA||CUPRA e-Racer||7||4.082||1:12.949||5|
|5||27||John FILIPPI||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||7||4.192||1:12.961||6|
|R||25||Luca FILIPPI||Romeo Ferraris – M1RA||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||4||+ 3 LAPS||1:11.499||2|