Pool FAST CUPRA EKS driver Tom Blomqvist and Romeo Ferraris man Maxime Martin took the spoils in the Pool FAST Semi Finals in Sachsenring at the final round of the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup played out on a crisp morning in Saxony.
The first Semi Final was anoher easy win for Blomqvist who held his advantage from pole to the first corner and beyond as a race-long battle played out between his team-mate Ekström with Hyundai Motorsport N’s Nicky Catsburg.
Time and again Catsburg would edge ahead early in the start-finish straight only for canny Ekström to position his CUPRA to perfection into T1 and deny his rival any advantage. Catsburg was no one-trick Hyundai Motosport pony either, hassling and pushing to pass at every available opportunity, but Ekström could draw on too much experience and guile to finish second and keep hus ETCR title retention dreams alive.
Come the chequered flag, Blomqvist cruised through 1.5secs to the good, with Eksröm just two tenths ahead of Catsburg.
Pool FAST Semi Final One Results
Tom Blomqvist CUPRA EKS
A good clean race for me as I managed to keep the lead and then just control the race from there. My life was made a little bit easier as Mattias had to defend from from Nicky in third. So, a great team result getting a one, two and I’ll start the final from the front row, so I’m very excited.
Mattias Eksröm CUPRA EKS
It was an exciting Sunday morning. I had a good start and a really cool race with Nicky Catsburg with some argy bargy, but then we finished ahead so that was good. Now I’m looking forward to the DHL Super Final.
Nicky Catsburg Hyundai Motorsport N
Probably one of my most fun races in FIA ETCR – a solid top-three result! I would have loved to pass Mattias and I tried everything I could but Mattias is a very good driver and made no mistakes. We had a lot of fun, it was a pretty cool fight.
Pool FAST Semi Final Two
In the second Pool FAST Semi Final, Hyundai Motorsport N’s Jean-Karl Vernay made a stellar start off the line down to T1, but managed to out-brake himself and go wide into the corner, negating any attack on pole-man Giovanni Venturini in his Romeo Ferraris and allowing Venturini’s team-mate Maxime Martin to take the second place with ease.
Martin was now very much the man on a charge, taking the race lead from his team-mate down the inside of the start-finish straight starting the second lap and thereafter the Belgian could enjoy a far more relaxed race than his Quarter Final.
The battle to watch was now Vernay versus Venturini, with Vernay passing the near of the second lap in a clean but decisive move. The accent for Vernay was now to catch Martin as Venturini proved to be no threat, but Martin was too composed in the lead, taking the chequered flag by over a second.
Pool FAST Semi Final Two Results
Maxime Martin Romeo Ferraris
A good race. For sure. I knew that the start was key and as soon as I could be in front I could control the race a lot a lot easier. Yeah, good racing P4 for the DHL Super Final. So, one more race to go!
Jean-Karl Vernay Hyundai Motorsport N
We knew Romeo Ferraris would want to finish ahead and keep Martin safe, but the good point is we were able to overtake Venturini but it was a bit too late to catch Martin. The car feels really good, so let’s see what happens in the final. If it’s going to rain, that will mean the grid position won’t be so important. So hopefully it’s going to rain.
Giovanni Venturini Romeo Ferraris
That was not a good fight because I was slower! It was a sad race for me as we had an issue with grip. Now we have to check and then we go for the DHL Super Final. Let’s see what happens in the afternoon.
Standings Post Pool FAST Semi Finals
Pool FAST DHL Super Final Grid