Today the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup will take to the track for the first competitive sessions of its inaugural event on the streets of Pau Ville for the Infinite Reality Race FR.
FIA ETCR has grown from its predecessor PURE ETCR to gain FIA World Cup status and features the world’s most powerful touring cars with 500KW of power available for qualifying and in-session Power Ups.
All drivers compete with the same Goodyear treaded all-weather tyres and the driver with the most points over the course of the weekend will be crowned King of the Weekend. Points are scored in all of the Finals so every corner counts!
The charging process for all cars competing is powered by Hyundai Motor Company HTWO hydrogen twin-fuel-cell generators. These generators use green hydrogen to power the charging units, ensuring that only decarbonised electricity is created and meaning that the only by-product of the process is water.
“We come to the streets of Pau to start our first round as an FIA series and bring the most powerful touring cars ever built to this iconic street circuit,” says FIA ETCR Series Director, Xavier Gavory.
“We have three great manufacturers: CUPRA, Hyundai Motorsport and Romeo Ferraris and all three have superb driver line-ups of race winners and champions from many other racing disciplines. Sustainability is key in our outlook at all levels and we are not just paying lip service to this; it is intrinsic in everything we do.”
FIA ETCR will be seen by more people than ever before as it will be broadcast in 183 countries in 2022. The primary broadcaster is Eurosport, but beyond the Eurosport network the show will also be seen on a further 27 broadcasters, with 18 able to cover the whole season live. FIA ETCR is reaching out to new territories like the Caribbean where it will be seen live for the first time as well as live in LATAM and Brazil.
The historic French racing venue will see two qualifying sessions on Saturday, with cars setting off from the Starting Gate at ten-second intervals in a sequence determined by random draw for Q1 and then the finishing order of Q1 for the order of Q2.
Drivers across the three manufacturer teams – CUPRA EKS, Romeo Ferraris and Hyundai Motorsport N – are split into two pools for their running, Pool Fast and Pool Furious and it’s a three-way Battle on track for the Semi and Quarter Finals.
Best qualifying times determine the starting order for the Quarter Finals and drivers then compete in the Semi Finals before heading to the DHL Super Finals where six cars are on track. All drivers progress to each subsequent Final, with the starting order for each next Battle being determined by the finishing order in the previous one.
Drivers come into the race weekend having enjoyed two non-competitive practice sessions on the Friday before each event. The driver scoring the most points across the Quarter, Semi and DHL Super Finals will be crowned King of the Weekend.
FIA ETCR is an on-track pioneer but must show global responsibility as well in all of our processes in order to do more sustainable motorsport. From this broad perspective, different actions have been implemented, noted below. For more about are sustainability policies, please visit: www.fia-etcr.com/sustainability/.
- Environmental Management System
- Sustainable Connections with Stakeholders
- FIA Environmental Accreditation
- Carbon Footprint Measurement and Reduction
- United Nations Sports for Climate Action Signatory
- org and Canopy Project Reforestation Programme
- Local Actions
- Discovery Sports Events Environmental Policy
What the Drivers Said coming to Pau
Mattias Ekström #1
There is no doubt that defending a title is much more monumental work than claiming one. I am sure my team-mates and all the other ETCR drivers will be giving their everything to pass me and take the crown. It won’t be a walk in the park, that’s for sure! EKS together with CUPRA will give us the best possible car at every track in every conditions,” he said. “There is not so much pressure on me as a team owner, because I know the EKS crew and I trust them completely.
Street circuits have no room for error and it’s very easy to make an error with the ETCR car, so it’s going be a very, very difficult weekend. It’s the first weekend for us, the circuit has absolutely no room for a mistake, because the walls are really close and very strong walls too! That’s going to make that first race even more exciting. Tom and Adrien are very fast drivers, and although they’re young, they have a lot of experience. So far in the tests we’ve done they’ve pushed the car to the limit, so for me it’s going to be a challenge. This is good for the team. They’re going to give us new ideas, competitiveness… it’s going to make us go faster for sure.
Jordi and Mattias have a lot of experience and Adrien and I are very fast. We make a great team, so there’s no holding us back.It’s not just about being fast on the track. Both Ekström and Gené are experienced drivers in racing and also in developing the cars. They’ve raced at the highest level in the world for many years and I’m sure we’ll learn a lot from them.
It’s very different from what I’m used to. It’s a very exciting competition with several qualifying rounds, but that’s the challenge we enjoy as racing drivers. You can never stop learning. I’ve been team-mates with Mattias before and I’ve always tried to be like a sponge to learn as much as I can and try to improve.
Hyundai Motorsport N
I cannot wait to be racing again after a long offseason. Pau has been a good place for me, especially after winning there last year in PURE ETCR. This time it will be different as we are competing on a street circuit, but it is a track I know very well. Looking at our opponents, I think the competition level is going to be very high and consistent this year, so there will be no point where we can take it easy. We have made some big improvements to the car compared to last year and we are ready for this first race. My focus is on doing the best job we can and winning the Race FR.
It has been a very long time since I last had this feeling of starting something completely new, so I am very excited for the start of the FIA ETCR season. Pau is a circuit where having previous knowledge is a big advantage, as it is a very demanding street track that can be quite stressful for a driver. For me the most important thing will be to fine tune the car to a point where I feel comfortable to push it to its limit. If we can do this, then I think we can be confident in achieving a strong finish. I will try my best to be competitive from the first moment we take to the circuit.
The Circuit de Pau-Ville is a new track for me, and with it being a street circuit it will give us some difficult conditions to deal with. The team and the car are also new to me, but as always I will try my best and give 100% of my effort. Although the goal is to go as fast as possible, we have to remember this is a long season and we need to be consistent throughout the year. The focus for the Race FR event will be to get valuable kilometres in the car and work closely with the team to secure the best result possible.
It will be a demanding weekend for me as I do not know the track and it will be my first FIA ETCR race – and my first time racing any electric car – so everything is new. My expectations for the event is to just do my best for Hyundai Motorsport N and myself, and try to get the best result possible for everyone. Testing has been good so far but it is hard to tell where we are in comparison to the other teams: we will have to wait until Qualifying to discover that. Overall, I am really excited for this new electric adventure.
I have never raced in Pau before so I’m really excited to finally come here and I’m really looking forward to racing here. It’s the first race of the season so there’s a big question mark for all of us. The level of drivers has gone up so much; there’s an amazing standard this year. It’s a big challenge for me and I’m really pumped up about it. All the drivers are super good, super professional with an amazing history of motorsport. So basically, you have to be there is every single battle; it will be very tough! From the other point of view, I think all three manufacturers did their homework very well, or at least, it looks that was, so anyone can be really, really fast.
It’s my first time racing an electric car as usually I drive GT3 cars or in the past formula single seater cars so everything is a surprise for me! I learnt a lot during pre-season testing so we will have to see what happens during the season! I hope it will be nice but Pau will be very interesting as it’s a street circuit. I hope it will be nice to me!
I have experience from Pau about 20 years ago in Formula 3! It was a long time ago so it’s almost like no experience and today you can forget it! I’m going to have to re-learn I am going to have to learn to track again because of course 20 years ago with Formula 3 and today with this car it’s very different. I’m looking forward to getting out on track as I remember that it was a fun track to drive and I think in this car is going to be even more challenging in these cars!
I think Pau will be the biggest challenge for me and it’s really going to be a challenge for the first time driving qualifying with 500KW. I have to learn the track because it’s my first time here and it will be a big challenge.