The Pool FURIOUS Semi Finals for Race IT saw composed victories in Vallelunga for the fifth round fo the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup as both Romeo Ferraris driver Maxime Martin and CUPRA EKS driver Tom Blomqvist crusied and collected maximum points whilst the hard work was done elsewhere on track.
A super close Pool FURIOUS first Semi Final saw Martin take the win with a battle royale going on behind with Nicky Catsburg in the Hyundai Motorsport N Veloster ETCR providing a robust attack on and then defence from Mattias Eksröm in the CUPRA EKS car.
A clean start by all saw Martin lead Eksröm lead Catsburg, but the Hyundai Motorsport driver was resolute in his intent to get ahead of Eksröm and so he came to pass heading into the chicane at T6. The CUPRA driver thereafter kept a close watching brief on Catsburg as the back pair nevertheless closed back up to Martin ahead.
With plenty of Power Up acreoss the trio it looked like the action would come late. Eksröm was keeping the pressure on, but with nothing rash or brutal to challenge Catsburg. By the final lap all three cars were closed-up again. By the penultimat lap, Catsburg was as close to the Romeo Ferraris as the CUPRA was to him and it was Power Up aplenty for the final tour. With all three seemingly trying almost the same deployment policy, it was a well mannered, if rapid and close blast to the finish line, with Martin taking another win, Catsburg just 6 tenths adrift and Eksröm just four tenths further back.
“Definitely a perfect weekend till now,” said Martin. “It’s good fun, fair racing, really nice!”
Mazime Martin Romeo Ferraris
Definitely a very good Semi Final! Again a win, and again it’s never easy, but a good race with fair, fair battles. I’m looking forward to go to the Super Final now and try to win again.
Nicky Catsburg Hyundai Motorsport N
It was a good race. I had a poor start compared to the others so I decided to back off early and attack whoever was in second place into the next section. That worked out, we were side by side and I managed to keep my nose in and pass him. After that it was pretty much hunting down Maxime, and it took until the last lap to really be in a position to attack, and he had to defend twice and cover off the inside. But then Mattias came quite close and I had to think more about him in the last two or three corners. It was another nice ETCR race and now I have one more shot to try and beat Maxime in my first ever front-row start in ETCR, which is pretty cool.
Mattias Eksröm CUPRA EKS
So our semi final I was starting P2 after a little tricky first half lap I lost the position to P3. Afterwards I fought as much as I could but unfortunately it didn’t help so in the p3 final left and we’ll try and get a keen race and see if we can better learn get better position
Pool FURIOUS Semi Final One Results
For the second FURIOUS Semi it was again all three brands represented, with Tom Blomqvist on pole for CUPRA EKS, Jean-Karl Vernay in the middle for Hyundai Motorsport N and Giovanni Venturini on the outside for Romeo Ferraris.
At the start it was a clear two-away battle for T1 with Blomqvist under intense pressure from Vernay as Giovanni stayed off the Power Up. Blomqviist was able to shrug off Vernay’s intentions and another well-behaved ‘battle’ ensued across the following laps with the lead two on the limit but Blomqvist just out of reach in the lead and Giovanni just out of touch in third spot.
Across the line it was Blomqvist by 0.6secs from Vernay whilst Venturini looked to pick up a puncture on the final corner, finishing just over three seconds behind the CUPRA.
“A decent race,” said the winner. “Obviously, the start was super important and thankfully I had enough pace in the car to manage it from there.
Tom Blomqvist CUPRA EKS
It was a good race. The start was was really important and after looking at the other battles, it was clear that you had to get to the lead first and then manage it from there. So I was able to do that and then just control the race with the Power Up usage and so on. So yeah, it was straightforward. But now I need to try and move forward in the Super Final.
Jean-Karl Vernay Hyundai Motorsport N
A bit of a boring race. My start was really good but just at some point on the straights, the other cars are faster than us and they are coming back – and they had the advantage of pole position. After we were able to follow, we were quicker on some parts but when you are behind it was quite difficult, which we saw in the other races. You need to overtake straight away or your race is over.
Giovanni Venturini Romeo Ferraris
So yes we were struggling from the qualifying and in the last semi final I had a puncture, luckily on the last lap so I could finish the race, but yes we have to work for the final and let’s see what happens.
Pool FURIOUS Semi Final Two Results
Pool FURIOUS Vallelunga Points Post Semi Finals