One of only a handful of drivers to embark on a second season of electric touring car racing after featuring in the FIA ETCR predecessor PURE ETCR, Luca Filippi charged into the 2022 FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup with his sights set on mounting a title offensive this time.
Agreeing a new deal with Romeo Ferraris to once more steer its Giulia ETCR saloon, Filippi’s presence gave the Italian concern continuity to offset the new blood of its fresh triumvirate of signings; Maxime Martin, Bruno Spengler and Giovanni Venturini.
Classified seventh in the 2021 PURE ETCR overall standings – a position spurred on by finishing a close second overall to team-mate Philipp Eng in Copenhagen – despite high hopes of a maiden victory in his sophomore campaign, Filippi struggled to shine under the new race weekend format.
Getting his season off to an inauspicious start with a crash during the INFINITE REALITY Grand Prix de Pau opener, an awkward coming together with Jean-Karl Vernay’s Hyundai would see Filippi end his opening weekend in the wall.
Tangling on the fast run to Turn 3 as Vernay put on the squeeze, the snag would send Filippi’s Giulia first ricochet into the Armco, before rotating at speed and sliding rearward into the barriers at Virage du Pont Oscar.
“Going from turn two to turn three, I was going straight; Maxime in front was going straight; Vernay on my side was going straight; and then suddenly – in a straight line, full acceleration – he turns into me. I lost control and the car is totally destroyed.
“I have no words to describe how I feel and what I think about the reckless move he made on me. I think it’s probably the dirtiest ever situation I’ve been involved in. And I have no words to describe it.”
It was a result that would set a tone for the ensuing rounds, Filippi battling hard amid fierce competition but not breaking through. After Pau, more contact next time out at the Hungaroring would once more hinder his progress, while Jarama’s twisting layout would prove punishing for his lowly grid position – influenced by a wild 360-degree spin during the Quarter-Final – during Race ES.
With five of the six rounds completed, a best result of tenth place – achieved on three occasions – stood as the highlights coming into the final stretch.
Undeterred, Filippi would at least save his best for the last round, producing his most competitive performance of the year at the concluding RACE DE, held at the demanding and technical Sachsenring Circuit.
Steering his Alfa Romeo to a first top three finish of the year in the FURIOUS DHL Super Final, it would see Filippi score a season’s best peak of seventh in the all-important King of the Weekend classification.
12th – 181 points