CUPRA EKS Mattias Ekström withstood initial pressure from team-mate Tom Blomqvist and Hyundai Motorsport N’s Mikel Azcona in the first FURIOUS Quarter Final with a tight first few corners at the start for all three drivers turning into a two-way battle for Blomqvist and Azcona, leaving Ekström clear to take the win.
Whilst Ekström had little to consider save for those first few corners the same could not be said for the other two, with a race-long ding-dong battle ensuing. Blomqvist initially had the advantage, but Azcona would not be denied, making it alongside and finally past on the second lap, his persistence rewarded. Blomqvist fought back, alongside on the outside at turn one on the final lap, then right on Azcona’s tail for the rest of the lap with Blomqvist ending up on the grass and dislodging Azcona’s bumper in his efforts. Despite this, Azcona went on to take second, albeit over six seconds away from winner Ekström.
Pool FURIOUS Quarter Final 1 Results
The second FURIOUS Quarter Final saw Romeo Ferraris’ Maxime Martin hold his advantage from pole whilst team-mate Giovanni Venturini diced with Hyundai Motorsport N’s Nicky Catsburg, who put on a fine display in his first series battle. Catsburg emerged second on the first lap and tracked down Martin, but Venturini kept him honest. Lap three played out with Catsburg right with Martin, but Venturini has kept Power-Up power in his poacked for the final lap. Catsburg started the final tour looking at Martin ahead, but soon Venturini was right with him and alongside and through on the inside, his waiting game having paid off.
Martin crossed the line over a second ahead of Venturini for a Romeo Ferraris 1-2, with Catsburg marking himself as one to watch finishing third.
Pool FURIOUS Quarter Final 2 Results
Pool FURIOUS Semi Final Grids
Matitas Ekström, CUPRA EKS
It was a fun race, of course when we win it’s always good. A little bit of a slow start but from then on was a nice race so happy with the day and we look forward to tomorrow.
Mikel Azcona, Hyundai Motorsport N
The Quarter Final was very tough fighting against both the CUPRAs. We knew before the start of the race that it would be difficult, especially turn one. They were on the inside and I was on the outside, so I wasn’t optimistic. My strategy was to follow them and save the car going into turn one, at this point I wanted to attach Tom as otherwise my race would be finished. I did it, I put him under a little bit of pressure, and was trying to get him to make a mistake. In the end he did a small one, I saw a space and I went for it. It’s really good to finish P2 – that’s what we wanted to achieve so we would be in Semi Final 1 for more points. Very challenging, very tough, a few contacts and close battles.
Tom Blomqvist, CUPRA EKS
Not good to finish last but Azcona drove a good race. It was a bit got a bit feisty, a bit of action but it is what it is. He did better than me. So let’s see tomorrow
Maxime Martin, Romeo Ferraris
I made a good start in the Quarter Final so I could take the first corner in the lead and then I just tried to manage the race by trying to manage the Power Ups. Nicky pushed at some point a lot with the Power Up to come back and catch so then I had to keep calm. At the end, I had some more Power Ups left so I could resist. It’s great that Giovanni made a good move on Nicky and we finished one and two.
Giovanni Venturini, Romeo Ferraris
Well it was a good start. Nicky Catsburg was really fair honestly because he was in the middle between me and Maxime at the start but at the end of the race I managed the Power Up to try to do the overtaking the last lap and it worked. Second in the Quarter Final is good and I’m looking forward for tomorrow.
Nicky Catsburg, Hyundai Motorsport N
I felt really strong, my start was alright. Then I felt faster than the car in front and I thought, “yeah, I am doing quite well.” For the last lap I decided to attack now, but I didn’t realise the other car was so close. All of a sudden he was there, he used a bit more Power Up and went down the inside. I was kind of a sitting duck there and didn’t have enough – only one second for the last corner – which wasn’t enough. For sure I’ve learned a lot from that session, I needed to get some laps under my belt and this was the first one, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.