It’s been an astounding season in the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup for CUPRA EKS with the squad heading into the season finale with two of their drivers atop the Drivers’ standings with Adrien Tambay leading the charge and Mattias Ekström just 14 points shy of his team-mate.
All that remains now is the 2022 ETCR final round at the Sachsenring, a circuit located in the Saxony region of Germany. Like all the racetracks that have hosted a round of the ETCR this year, it will provide a stern technical challenge for the CUPRA EKS team – as the tight and twisty 3.671km track includes a tricky downhill right-hand corner nicknamed The Waterfall.
CUPRA EKS has maintained a high level of competitiveness through the 2022 season. At least two team drivers have finished on the podium in all race weekends, and all of them ended up on the podium at least once. While the CUPRA e-Racer has been fast and reliable car – performing exceptionally well on the different and technical racetracks.
Adrien Tambay and Mattias Ekström arrive in Sachsening in first and second position in the title race, with Tambay wanting the title in his maiden ETCR season and Ekström waiting to retain it.
“It’s going to be very tough, but we keep pushing in every race, said Tambay.
“If we take the last meeting like we did the previous ones, trying to maximise performance and every start, and putting the car up in qualifying, we can fight for the championship. The best thing is to win, but if Mattias is strong, it’s going to be difficult. So, even if the goal is to win, we will always look to be up there, P1 and P2. If we work together, we can bring the title back to CUPRA.”
Tambay has been crowned King of the Weekend once and Ekström has been crowned twice and their pace and results have very close all season.
“It is always more difficult defending the title than to claim it for the first time,” said Ekström. “There is a lot more pressure from outside and your own expectations are really high. You need to balance it and keep your head cool.
“I am in the title run, for sure, I would prefer to be leading the championship right now, but I can’t complain, as it is Adrien who is at the top. We share the same car, same engineers, and mechanics, so it’s fair and square.
Elsewhere in the squad, Jordi Gené will be aiming to end his season on a high in the all-electric CUPRA e-Racer. He’s fought hard in every race this year, with a DHL Super Final podium finish in Jarama his best result of the season far.
“I have loads of experience, but obviously not all the circuits,” said Gené. “I know. So last year was Pau that I did only a couple of laps or half a day in Formula 3 25 years ago that I had to learn and this year is going to be Sachsenring. So it’s a lot of experience many years racing, but always something to learn in motorsport.
“My approach to the season final is fully concentrated. We had a long break a very long break then we’re going to have one day testing, but we have to be right on it as we have the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championship really close and I think we deserve them both. So, we have to do well and we have to concentrate and make no mistakes. And if we do so I am sure that we will have the two titles in our hands. So, full focus, full concentration, and one more to go!”
Likewise, Tom Blomqvist will be aiming to finish the season with a King of the Weekend crown. He is one of the few drivers to have raced at the Sachsenring circuit before, albeit over 10 years ago!
“I’ve raced Sachsenring once before, in 2011 If I remember correctly! It’s a super fast, flowing circuit. I ran in Formula 3 and I remember it being really physical I think it’s going be less physical with these cars but obviously it’s going to be a hard circuit on tyres especially.”
Finally Head of CUPRA Racing, Xavi Serra gave his thoughts heading to the finale. “We go to Sachsenring with the aim of winning the Drivers’ title for the second year in a row!” he said.
“Adrien and Mattias have very good chances, but the level is very high, everyone on the grid has a lot of experience and the racing this year has been very fast and close. We are in for an exciting finale to the 2022 season, and whoever is crowned ETCR Drivers’ champion this year will deserve it.”