Luca Filippi and Philipp Eng emerged victorious in Sunday’s two PURE ETCR SuperFinals, with the latter also becoming ‘King of the Weekend’ after amassing the highest points tally over the two days of action.
Although Mattias Ekström had secured the best time in the earlier single-lap shootout, the Swede having been over three tenths faster than his rivals, he had his work cut out at the start of the first six-car SuperFinal.
Romeo Ferraris’ Luca Filippi, starting alongside Ekström, immediately challenged for the lead and held his own through the first corner as the two drivers made contact.
A couple of places back Jean-Karl Vernay moved up to third, having qualified in a ‘disappointing’ fourth, as Ekström seized the lead going into Turn 2.
Further back John Filippi, running in sixth, tried to pass the CUPRA of Dániel Nagy at the first chicane but could not pull of the move, despite some contact.
The order then remained unchanged for the next five laps, and Ekström appeared to be on for the win, until Luca Filippi, who had kept the CUPRA driver honest at the front and carried Hyundai’s Vernay and the second Alfa Romeo of Oliver Webb with them, dived for the lead.
Filippi made his move coming out of the final chicane on the run to the finish line, muscling up the inside of Ekström at the flat-out right hander before the finish, with the Italian sensationally claiming the win by a mere one tenth of a second, having only led the final few metres of the entire race.
Vernay took the flag in third, ahead of Webb, Nagy and Filippi, the latter two having drifted away from the leading pack to finish over nine seconds adrift of the winner.
“I’m so happy and so relieved for my team,” said winner Filippi. “It was team work from all of us. We had great pace all weekend and I knew it.
“I was on Mattias’ bumper. It was a tough battle on lap one. Tough, but I think respectful, and I loved it. So I knew he was a tough guy, but fair and I could race with [him].
“I thought ‘OK, it’s my last chance’. I braked early and accelerated early, and I took the chicane like I never took it before. The car flew on top of the kerbs and then I made a move, and I went for it. When I put my nose in, I said ‘OK, I’m not going to lift’. And it was so much fun!”
Series newcomer Philipp Eng flew to the pole position for Romeo Ferraris for SuperFinal B on Sunday morning with a time which was a tenth of a second faster than Hyundai’s Tom Chilton.
Jordi Gené was the fastest CUPRA driver in third, whilst Augusto Farfus in fourth was over eight tenths off pole in his Hyundai.
Neither fifth-placed Mikel Azcona or sixth-placed Rodrigo Baptista could even lap within a second of Eng on their single lap attempts.
The second SuperFinal began after an earlier rain shower and, although the track had dried, some areas remained damp and so drivers were granted a single-lap reconnaissance tour to test the conditions.
When the lights went out at the start Eng held the lead from Chilton and Gené, as Farfus made a terrible start and dropped to last, promoting Azcona and Baptista.
There was no further action until lap five when Chilton, running in second, picked up a puncture at the first chicane, breaking the right-rear wheel on his car.
With his Hyundai slow as a result, the Brit baulked the chasing CUPRAs of Gené and Azcona, although they passed without incident.
No further passes were possible, and Eng easily won the Final to claim the title of ‘King of the Weekend ahead of the CUPRAs of Gené and Azcona, with Baptista fourth and Farfus fifth, the latter having dropped back from his compatriot ahead.
“It’s been a great weekend,” said Eng. “The car was extremely good, it was a great package, and I’m just very happy for the whole team. They have gone through some difficult moments with the passing of Aldo [Cerruti] so I’m very happy I could give them the win we achieved together.
“It’s an amazing result for the whole Romeo Ferraris team and I am very happy to be here, it was a lot of fun.”
Leaving Copenhagen, newcomer Eng was the biggest scorer of the weekend with 71 points, ahead of Luca Filippi (66), Ekström (64), Vernay (62), Gené (58), Azcona (57), Webb (48) and Farfus (47).
Ekström has retained the series lead with 210 points, ahead of Vernay (186), Gené (167), Azcona (161) and Baptista (149).
PURE ETCR resumes at the Hungaroring on 20 – 22 August in support of the FIA World Touring Car Cup.