CUPRA EKS’ Mattias Ekström once again emerged as the King of the Weekend in the FIA eTouring Car World Cup, winning his SuperFinal in Jarama on Sunday to claim overall victory for the second time this season.
Following Saturday’s qualifying and Quarter Finals, Ekström had been unbeaten, with only Jordi Gené able to also theoretically claim a perfect score going into Sunday’s action.
Pool Fast Semi Finals
The two CUPRAs of Jordi Gené and Adrien Tambay took the advantage at the start of the first Semi-Final, although Norbert Michelisz had made it three wide going along the start straight initially.
Tambay then took the lead from Gené exiting Turn 2, and thereafter the Frenchman was able to build a gap over Gené, who had his hands full defending from Michelisz’s Hyundai.
Exiting Turn 5 on the third lap, Michelisz deployed his Power Up to boost his car’s output to close to 670 bhp, taking second from Gené which he then held to the end, with Tambya winning the heat by just under two seconds.
The second Semi Final turned out to be one of the most thrilling of the weekend. Romeo Ferraris’ Bruno Spengler lined up on the inside, with Hyundai’s Jean-Karl Vernay in the centre and the second Romeo Ferraris Giulia of Luca Filippi on the outside.
Approaching Turn 1, Spengler moved over slightly to squeeze his rivals, but this had the effect of pinching Vernay between the two Giulias.
All three locked up into the first corner, with Spengler emerging in the lead ahead of Filippi, as Vernay followed close behind the two red cars for the opening lap.
Filippi’s race then came to an end on the second lap, as he spun out of second at speed at Turn 6, leaving him in the gravel and out of the heat following another tyre failure.
Over the remaining two and a half laps, Vernay closed right in on Spengler but couldn’t find a way past. The two finished less than a second apart, although later penalties were applied.
Both Spengler and Vernay were found to have used their Power Ups in the yellow flag zone for Filippi’s stricken car, giving them five and ten second post-race penalties respectively.
For significantly, they lost five and ten points respectively for the misdemeanour.
Pool Fast – Semi Final 1
|1||27||Adrien TAMBAY||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||4||6:51.783||1:41.136||2|
|2||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||4||1.948||1:41.745||3|
|3||28||Jordi GENÉ||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||4||2.189||1:41.628||1|
Pool Fast – Semi Final 2
|1||7||Bruno SPENGLER||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||4||6:59.583||1:42.120||1|
|2||69||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||4||5.698||1:41.817||2|
|R||25||Luca FILIPPI||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||1||DNF||N/A||3|
Pool Furious Semi Finals
The first of the Pool Furious Semi Finals was a run-of-the-mill affair between CUPRA’s Mattias Ekström, Hyundai’s Mikel Azcona and Romeo Ferraris’ Maxime Martin.
At the start, Ekström assumed the lead from the inside and was never headed, although Azcona kept his former team-mate honest throughout the four lap sprint.
Azcona slipped back on the final lap, but after Martin went wide a lap prior, he couldn’t take advantage and Martin finished in third.
The second Semi Final of Pool Furious put CUPRA’s Tom Blomqvist up against Romeo Ferraris’ Giovanni Venturini and Hyundai’s Nicky Catsburg.
When Blomqvist and Venturini banged wheels at the first turn, Catsburg, who had dropped back under braking, took advantage with the switchback and boosted his way into the lead at Turn 2.
Then, despite heavy pressure from Blomqvist over the remaining four laps, Catsburg was able to hold on to claim his first Semi Final win in ETCR, with Venturini a close third.
Pool Furious – Semi Final 1
|1||1||Mattias EKSTRÖM||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||4||6:49.365||1:40.847||1|
|2||96||Mikel AZCONA||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||4||1.754||1:41.011||2|
|3||36||Maxime MARTIN||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||4||2.538||1:40.706||3|
Pool Furious – Semi Final 2
|1||88||Nicky CATSBURG||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||4||6:53.610||1:41.780||3|
|2||10||Tom BLOMQVIST||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||4||0.583||1:41.847||1|
|3||21||Giovanni VENTURINI||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||4||0.960||1:41.354||2|
Tambay started the first SuperFinal of the day from pole position, and the CUPRA driver led into the first corner, which is effectively where the heat was decided.
There, Michelisz lost second to Gené, whilst Spengler fell behind Vernay’s Hyundai at the same time.
The top three broke clear, but Michelisz couldn’t catch the leading CUPRAs, whilst Tambay had the edge over team-mate Gené to claim his third straight SuperFinal win of the season.
Vernay clung on to finish in a more distant fourth, marginally ahead of Spengler’s Giulia and Filippi a second further back in sixth.
The start of the Pool Furious Super Final proved to be very close. Although Ekström held the lead, he had banged wheel with Azcona on the run to the first corner.
Martin, meanwhile, had kept tucked in closely behind Ekström, and as Azcona found himself on the outside line through the next sequence of turns, the Romeo Ferraris driver was able to capitalise and take second.
Blomqvist had initially gained a place at the start, but at Turn 9 on the opening lap he was bumped wide by Catsburg, who stole fourth and Blomqvist dropped to sixth as Venturini also went past.
Venturini moved ahead of Catsburg for fourth onto lap two, but at the end of the lap the Dutchman reclaimed the place and Blomqvist followed through into fifth, albeit only briefly as Venturini went to the outside at Turn 1 on the next lap to take fifth back.
There weren’t any more changes, and Ekström won the SuperFinal to complete a perfect score of 100 points over the weekend, making him the ‘King of the Weekend’ for the second time this season.
Martin ended the heat in second, less than a second back, with Azcona in third, around a second behind.
Catsburg headed up the next trio to finish in fourth, ahead of Venturini and Blomqvist, who came close to passing the Italian on the last lap.
The end of event classification saw Ekström on top with 100 points, in front of Tambay (92) and Gené (80).
After Jarama, Ekström continues to lead the drivers’ standings overall with 280 points, in front of Tambay (274), Azcona (203), Martin (200) and Spengler (182).
The next event takes place at Zolder on 9 – 10 July.
Pool Fast – SuperFinal
|1||27||Adrien TAMBAY||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||5||8:34.285||1:41.347||1|
|2||28||Jordi GENÉ||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||5||0.401||1:41.829||3|
|3||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||5||2.138||1:41.825||2|
|4||69||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||5||4.408||1:42.357||5|
|5||7||Bruno SPENGLER||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||5||4.777||1:42.305||4|
|6||25||Luca FILIPPI||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||5||5.716||1:42.468||6|
Pool Furious – SuperFinal
|1||1||Mattias EKSTRÖM||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||5||8:32.599||1:41.246||1|
|2||36||Maxime MARTIN||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||5||0.639||1:41.189||3|
|3||96||Mikel AZCONA||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||5||1.750||1:41.059||2|
|4||88||Nicky CATSBURG||Hyundai Motorsport N||Hyundai Veloster N ETCR||5||3.162||1:41.665||4|
|5||21||Giovanni VENTURINI||Romeo Ferraris||Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR||5||4.576||1:41.890||6|
|6||10||Tom BLOMQVIST||CUPRA EKS||CUPRA e-Racer||5||4.914||1:41.238||5|