CUPRA EKS’ Adrien Tambay was the overall event winner for the FIA eTouring Car World Cup at the Hungaroring, after the Frenchman came second in his Semi Final and won his Super Final on Sunday.
The day started with the delayed Pool Fast Semi Finals, which should have been staged on Saturday evening but had to be postponed because of a delay in the support series schedule.
In the first Semi Final of ‘Pool Fast’, Hyundai’s Mikel Azcona seized the lead from former team-mate Mattias Ekström at the start.
The two then duelled hard for the first two laps, which allowed Romeo Ferraris’ Maxime Martin to stay with them despite saving his power up.
Going onto the last lap, Martin was then able to breeze past Ekström, although he couldn’t catch Azcona, who won the three-lap sprint.
Giovanni Venturini took the honours in the second Semi Final of the pool, getting the jump on Kevin Ceccon at the start.
Thereafter Ceccon seemed not able to put in a move for the lead. Jordi Gené left it until the final corner of the three-lap race to pass Ceccon with a robust move, sealing the place as they approached the finish line thanks to having more power-up.
Pool Fast Semi-Final 1
|1||96||Mikel AZCONA||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||3||5:53.475||1:58.478||2|
|2||36||Maxime MARTIN||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||3||0.407||1:58.294||3|
|3||1||Mattias EKSTRÖM||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||3||1.140||1:58.923||1|
Pool Fast Semi-Final 2
|1||21||Giovanni VENTURINI||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||3||5:54.362||1:59.015||2|
|2||28||Jordi GENÉ||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||3||1.025||1:59.165||3|
|3||31||I||Kevin CECCON||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||3||1.188||1:58.989||1|
The ‘Pool Furious’ Semi Final 1 saw a very slow start from Tambay, who had to restart his car having stopped away from the line, as Romeo Ferraris’ Bruno Spengler leapt into the lead ahead of Jean-Karl Vernay.
A fierce fight between Spengler and Vernay then followed. Vernay blasted into the lead at the end of the opening lap, but Spengler nerfed into the Hyundai at the penultimate corner of the second tour.
Vernay repeated his power-up blast back into the lead going onto the last lap, but contact between the pair at Turn 2 spun Vernay out.
That allowed the recovering Tambay to take second, a long time behind the heat winner Spengler.
The contact between Spengler and Vernay was reviewed, but no further action was taken.
The second Semi Final in ‘Pool Furious’ was much more straightforward, with CUPRA’s Tom Blomqvist blasting into the lead at the start ahead of Romeo Ferraris’ Luca Filippi and Hyundai’s Norbert Michelisz, which is how they stayed to the end of the three-lap heat.
Pool Furious Semi-Final 1
|1||7||Bruno SPENGLER||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||3||5:58.271||2:00.259||1|
|2||27||Adrien TAMBAY||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||3||5.727||1:58.662||2|
|3||69||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||3||1:35.651||2:00.166||3|
Pool Furious Semi-Final 2
|1||10||Tom BLOMQVIST||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||3||5:53.486||1:58.529||1|
|2||25||Luca FILIPPI||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||3||2.472||1:59.211||2|
|3||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||3||3.678||1:58.883||3|
The first of the six-car Super Finals saw Martin leap ahead when the lights went out, as Azcona made a poor start from pole position to drop to fifth.
Azcona re-gained a place past Gené up to fourth further around the lap, with Gené’s CUPRA almost immediately then slowing with a problem and smoke coming from the rear.
Into Turn 1 on the start of the second lap, Ekström dived up the inside of Venturini for second, and that is how the order remained for the rest of the five-lap race, as Martin went on to win by just over a second from the reigning PURE ETCR champion.
Venturini was third, putting two of the Romeo Ferraris’ Giulias on the podium of the heat, with Azcona only able to recover ground to fourth. Ceccon took fifth as the only other finisher on the lead lap after Gené had pitted to fix his car.
The second Super Final, for ‘Pool Furious’ had Spengler on pole, with Tambay alongside, and although Spengler led into Turn 1, it was Tambay who stole the lead into the next corner.
Vernay held third for the first laps, with Blomqvist in fourth, but the Brit took the final podium place going onto the third lap.
Blomqvist then quickly closed on fellow former DTM driver Spengler, and he repeated the move at the same place to take second going onto lap four, giving a CUPRA 1-2.
Tambay though was in a clear lead and won the race, ahead of Blomqvist and Spengler. Michelisz took fourth after Filippi and Vernay clashed at Turn 2 on the fourth lap, with Filippi making a move before Vernay tried to cut back, before the ensuing contact destroyed his right-rear tyre.
Pool Fast SuperFinal
|1||36||Maxime MARTIN||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||5||10:00.294||1:59.364||2|
|2||1||Mattias EKSTRÖM||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||5||1.384||1:58.855||3|
|3||21||Giovanni VENTURINI||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||5||2.016||1:59.546||4|
|4||96||Mikel AZCONA||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||5||3.769||1:59.492||1|
|5||31||Kevin CECCON||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||5||4.954||1:59.815||6|
|6||28||Jordi GENÉ||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||4||+ 1 LAP||1:59.639||5|
Pool Furious SuperFinal
|1||27||Adrien TAMBAY||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||5||9:56.760||1:58.502||2|
|2||10||Tom BLOMQVIST||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||5||1.711||1:58.736||4|
|3||7||Bruno SPENGLER||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||5||2.641||1:58.755||1|
|4||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||5||4.114||1:58.982||6|
|5||25||Luca FILIPPI||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||4||+ 1 LAP||1:59.335||5|
|R||69||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||3||DNF||1:59.267||3|
Victory in his Semi Final meant Tambay secured the ‘King of the Weekend’ accolade, having scored 90 points, ahead of Ekström and Martin.
In the overall standings, that means Tambay also leads with 182 points, ahead of Ekström (180), Azcona (139), Blomqvist and Spengler (138).
The next round takes place at Jarama in Spain in just one weeks’ time.