Anticipation heats up in Vallelunga…

Welcome to Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi for the fifth round of the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup, Race IT, in the glorious Regione Lazio.

Friday means practice day and all drivers have taken to the scorching hot track whilst some amongst them were lucky enough to get some press conference action too. Scroll on to hear and read their thoughts ahead of Race IT.

First order of the day was the all-important Draw, deciding who will belong to Pool FAST and Pool FURIOUS this weekend and ensuring plenty of exciting head-to-heads for Saturday and Sunday.

Featuring Maxime Martin, Adrien Tambay and Jean-Karl Vernay in part one, and Jordi Gené, Giovanni Venturini and Nicky Catsburg in part two, here is the press conference.

That’s not everyone though, let’s hear from the entire field after Day 1 of Race IT; quotes from all FIA ETCR drivers incoming below.


Mattias Ekström

All right a very good day and from the first moment, very good feeling in the car, had solid lap times, no mistakes and yeah just trying to nail the perfect lap is the name of the game for tomorrow…


Jordi Gené

Reasonable pace today; the car feels quite good. Bit tricky on tyre temperatures, but I think that’s the same for everyone. We’re going to be really close but I’m happy that at least this time I have the right pace since the very beginning so doesn’t look bad for the weekend.


Adrien Tambay

Basically we started the weekend in the in the right way with P1 in Free Practice. Quite a bit of work to do to get the best feeling and everything right for qualifying tomorrow as it’s gonna be a big challenge. Very warm temperatures and the tyres are boiling so we’ll have to nail it, but I’m looking forward to it.


Tom Blomqvist

It is hot like hell here! It’s hot crazy hot here! First impressions after the practice is it’s close as usual. The last few events have been super tight between between some of the top guys here so it’s gonna be a big fight. It’s nice to start the weekend positively. But yeah, it’s gonna be a very close fought weekend. So we need to keep keep our heads down, keep pushing and maximise the performance.


Romeo Ferraris

Bruno Spengler

Did some good work in tricky conditions as it’s very, very hot with 50 degree track temp, which is different from the previous event. Happy to be on Romeo Ferraris home soil. I think it was a very productive day and now we focus maximum on qualifying tomorrow.


Maxime Martin

Yeah it’s good to be back in free practice. The car is okay, we are  in the game so we have to focus on tomorrow’s qualifying.


Luca Filippi

Vallelunga, it’s our home race it’s where everything started with the ETCR in the first place so it’s nice to be back and looking forward to tomorrow. It is gonna be really tough and really challenging for everybody we’re all on the same level but we will push on.


Giovanni Venturini

So in FP1 we worked a lot and finally for FP2 we found – I think – a good car with a good balance so I’m optimistic for qualifying and the races. We had a little issues with with the power but no problem we fix it and so looking forward for tomorrow


Hyundai Motorsport N

Mikel Azcona

That was a good practice session, I had a good feeling and felt we had a good configuration in the car. I felt very comfortable and able to push to the limit, considering we were using used tyres. The balance was improving lap-by-lap so in the end, very happy. I feel confident for tomorrow’s qualifying as we made very positive steps today. It will be tough as we have high temperatures but even with these conditions, I think we will be much better than in Zolder.


Jean-Karl Vernay

Not a bad session but it looks like we are missing some pace, so we have some work to do. Let’s see what we can do compared to the other guys. That will be the target of this evening to be ready for tomorrow.


Norbert Michelisz

Free Practice was challenging because of the temperatures but it was ok. This is a circuit where we did some winter testing so we were more or less prepared, not for the temperatures but for the circuit. The car felt ok, still small things to improve for tomorrow but I am quite confident that I can do a better qualifying than last time because the car feels good. We still have some clear ideas of what we can change for tomorrow – not just on the car, but also myself driving wise.


Nicky Catsburg

It was ok, honestly the first part was not great. I had a couple of moments and made some mistakes so we were last. Luckily the second part was slightly better but we still need to find some pace. My running was also slightly limited as I think I had some tyre damage as well. I feel like the pace of the other guys is a little bit out of our reach right now so let’s see what tomorrow brings.