Hyundai Motorsport N’s Mikel Azcona and Norbert Michelisz took a brace of Pool FAST Quarter Final wins in the heat of Vallelunga leaving a trio of their rivals with tyre issues as two CUPRAs and one Romeo Ferraris had to limp to the line.
The first Pool FAST Quarter Final saw a familiar three-wide battle into T1 with Azcona emerging ahead of Bruno Spengler (Romeo Ferraris) and Adrien Tambay (CUPRA EKS). Spengler fought right back to take the lead for but a moment, before Azcona nipped through on the inside between turns 4 and 5 on the first lap, to take a lead he would not subsequently lose.
Spengler soon had Tambay on his case and would spend more time looking aft eather than fore for the rest of the first lap ebfore the trio found some space on lap two, readying themselves for their next battles. By the third lap the gaps were increasing, but a tactical game was being played by all, saving Power Up for the final laps. Sure enough, Tambay was back with Spengler at the end of the fourth lap but the pressure would be as short-lived as that in Tambay’s rear left tyre which gave up its battle against the heat and kerbs, punctured and deposited itself over a larger area than its design spec dictated.
With Tambay now on limp mode to the line, Spengler could give his all for the final lap to try to catch Azcona, but ultimately to no avail as the Hyundai Motorsport N man took victory.
Mikel Azcona Hyundai Motorsport N
A very good day in both series! It is very positive to have been the fastest in Qualifying with a perfect feeling with the car and then winning the Quarter Final against Bruno and Adrian, who are super strong guys. I lost the position to Bruno in the first corner – he was very smart using the Power Up and being on the outside, being very on the limit but we were all very fair and there was no contact. After this I knew I had to overtake as soon as possible, otherwise it was game over. I pushed a lot for the undercut in turn four and I did it; it was very close as he took the outside exiting turn five but it was once again fair. I really enjoyed this moment fighting against Bruno. The car was great, very consistent and impressive pace from the beginning until the end. I’m ready for tomorrow’s Semi Final and DHL Super Final.
Bruno Spengler Romeo Ferraris
So in the end it was good result. Started p3, finished P2, was P1 after turn one then braked a bit too late in turn four so lost the position for P1 after turn four but could not overtake Mikel Ascona. Was a pretty close fight fair fight and I had a good car over the race ,so happy with the points of P2 and we are in the first semi final and we will try to score even more points in the first Semi Final tomorrow. Thank you to Romeo Ferraris and we are pushing to get some good points for the team at the home soil.
Adrien Tambay CUPRA EKS
Basically it was a tough one for me because of a tyre puncture. I thought I could have had go on Bruno as at the beginning I let the guys go and fight together and I thought I could catch back but we had a tyre puncture and we need to investigate what happened and and solve that for tomorrow.
Pool FAST Quarter Final One Results
In Pool FAST Quarter Final Two again it was another tight three abreast blast down to T1 and a similar outcome with Hyundai Motorsport leading Romeo Ferraris leading CUPRA EKS as Norbert Michelisz came out in front of Luca Filippi and Jordi Gené.
Save for the intial blast down to T1, Quarter Final two started as a far more restrained affair. Gené stalked Filippi as Michelisz was unhindered in the Hyundai for the early laps. Gené kept the pressure on, but just as Tambay earlier the left rear tyre was not of the same mind and its air escaped on the penaultimate lap with the CUPRA man straight-lining the chicane once his predicament presented itself and it was limp to the line time for CUPRA once more.
As for Spengler in the earlier heat, Filippi could now hunt down the Hyundai ahead but part way through the final lap his tyre started delaminating and there were two cars limping home and one cruising as Michelisz took the Pool FAST Quarter Final two victory.
Norbert Michelisz Hyundai Motorsport N
It was a tough day but in the end we managed to achieve the target. I had the inside so of course, starting from there it is always a bit easier to keep the position – although it was a bit tight right after the start! Everything went well, the car worked very well so I am happy and looking forward to tomorrow. With this format, sometimes more is possible with P4 in Qualifying – but you still have to win the race, which is never easy, but everything worked out for us today. Could not be better than this.
Luca Filippi Romeo Ferraris
Jordi Gené CUPRA EKS
Very difficult weekend. We had pretty good pace on the race. I was setting some power up to attack in the last two laps and unfortunately we had the puncture so we are now analysing why because two cars in same race distance having two punctures it is something to worry about. I was taking care of the kerbs we were running less camber. So we did our job to prevent that and still happen. So a bit worried for tomorrow. Although I know we have a very good team, they can analyse everything and I’m sure they will find the solution. So tomorrow we’re gonna be able to fight again.
Pool FAST Quarter Final Two Results
Pool FAST Semi Final Grids
Pool FAST Vallelunga Points Post Quarter Finals