CUPRA extends FIA ETCR lead in Hungary

CUPRA EKS extended its lead at the top of the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup manufacturers’ standings after an incredible weekend of all-electric racing at the Hungaroring. Adrien Tambay won the DHL Pool Furious SuperFinal and was crowned King of the Weekend to take the lead in the drivers’ standings  – with team-mate Mattias Ekström only two points behind.

“The Super Final was amazing,” said Tambay. “I had to make ground following my mistakes of the day before and I put a bit of pressure on myself because I wanted to reward the team for all their hard work with a good result. I knew the CUPRA e-Racer was very quick around the Hungaroring and that I had to have a trouble-free SuperFinal. I started from second on the grid and I knew I had to take the lead early which I did after the first two corners. Plan A worked, so I’m pretty happy! Now we have to keep our heads down and work for the home race of CUPRA at Jarama next weekend.”

Mattias Ekström was once again on brilliant form – setting the fastest time in Pool Fast Free Practice and in Qualifying and winning his Quarter Final race. He started the Semi Final from pole but lost the lead on the opening lap and after an incredibly hard fight he came home third. That put him third on the grid for the five-lap DHL Pool Fast Super Final and after a good start he held that position before taking second place with a great move up the inside on the final corner of the first lap. He defended the position brilliantly in a big last lap battle to take second in the Super Final and just miss out on winning King of the Weekend by 10 points.

“My SuperFinal race was good and ultimately second place,” he said. “I’m happy with that result and very happy for the CUPRA EKS team because Adrien [Tambay] managed to win King of the Weekend. It’s a huge result for the team in the manufacturers’ championship, which is obviously very important. It’s all eyes forward for the next race. The CUPRA e-Racer is a very good race car and we should be able to score another great result at Jarama.”

Tom Blomqvist had been randomly drawn in the same Pool Furious group as Tambay and was fastest in Qualifying 2 before recording a DNF in his Quarter Final race. He bounced back magnificently to win his Semi Final to line up fourth on the grid for the Super Final. He held that position initially, before moving up to second at mid-race distance and follow his team-mate across the line.

“My final was good, ultimately the best result I could have got with second place. Happy with that and very happy with the team because Adrien managed to get the win and overall Mattias finishing second,” said Blomqvist.

“Huge result for the team and for the manufacturers’ championship which is obviously very important. For me personally, with yesterday not finishing the race cost my weekend a lot. Otherwise, it could have been potentially another 1-2-3, but we live and learn. Eyes forward for the next race because the car is very good and we should be able to aim for another strong result there.

Jordi Gené settled into the race weekend well and finished second in his Pool Fast Semi Final. He made a great start from fifth on the grid for the SuperFinal, but several heavy contacts during the first lap forced him into the pits to change a puncture. He re-joined the race a lap down yet still scored valuable points for finishing the Super Final.

“I had a very good start, I managed to get some positions, then I just covered Mattias’ back because it was getting close towards him. But I think Mikel Azcona got very frustrated and a bit desperate to gain back the position,” explained Gené.

“We touched five times in three corners and unfortunately this came to a puncture on two of my tyres and I had to lose one lap to replace them. After that the rhythm was really good again so ups and downs, happy for the team, happy for the work done but not happy for my personal result.”