Maxime Martin withstood battles from a brace of CUPRAs to emerge victorious in Pool FURIOUS Quarter Final one whilst Nicky Catsburg had a far easier time of it in the Pool FURIOUS Quarter Finals in the fifith round of the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup, Race IT, at Vallelunga.
The first FURIOUS Quarter Final certainly lived up to its pool name as Tom Blomqvist went hard on the Power Up in his CUPRA early on to take the lead from Martin’s Romeo Ferraris Giulia ETCR whilst Mattias Ekström in the second CUPRA provided a robust attack and the CUPRAs tried a tag team matchup against Martin but fell short at the Romeo Ferraris home track.
Down to T1 Martin had the better start from pole, and stayed in front for the first lap but could not maintain the advantage as Blomqvist was trigger happy on the Power Up at the start of the second lap and the duo were alongside each other at the double-right turn 4-5 enabling Ekström to wade in with a little bit of bump and grind to assist Tom in his task.
Martin emerged unscathed and well aware of his rivals’ tactics to end the day in Pool FURIOUS with a perfect score. Ekström and Blomqvist both finished the race as well as showing strong pace in the cooler condtions of the later afternoon with steps taken by the team to avoid the tyre issues from the earlier Pool FAST Quarter Finals.
The Romeo Ferraris driver kept Ekström behind him whilst ahead the now Power Up spent Blomqvist tried to drive as wide as he could, putting in a robust defence for almost two laps before the inevitable happened and Martin boosted past on the start / finish straight at the start of the penaultimate lap.
It was now the turn of Martin to defend as Blomqvist let Ekström pass too with 100% less difficulty, but the Romeo Ferraris man was not to be beaten on his squad’s home ground as one red car led the two blue cars home.
Maxime Martin Romeo Ferraris
It was a good race for sure! It’s never easy when you have to take on two of the same brand in the same race but at the end there were some good fun good fights which is easier to say when you win the battle. Let’s keep like this for tomorrow.
Mattias Ekström CUPRA EKS
So the race was quite exciting. Starting from p3 I had a decent race. It was really close with Maxime and we can see that we have closed the gap in terms of pace and also the little issue with the punctures was solved. We’re pretty motivated for tomorrow and see if we can fight back.
Tom Blomqvist CUPRA EKS
So we had to try to do something to put Maxime under pressure, you know, to try and use up his power Up. But I mean, he was quick! So I used a lot initially to see if I could get ahead and put a bit of an offset between you know, him and Mattias and see if Mattias could can maybe capitalise on that. Obviously, I had to do so much to kind of get there that my race was then compromised.
Pool FURIOUS Quarter Final One Results
Pool FURIOUS Quarter Final Two failed to live up to the excitment of its predecessor with something of a reverse of the earlier Quarter Final as two Hyundai Motorsport N cars kept the sole Romeo Ferraris of Giovanni Venturini behind them.
Making no pretence of their team tactics, Nicky Catsburg took the lead and was protected by wingman Jean-Karl Vernay who frustrated Venturini’s every attempt to pass to guarantee Catbburg the win and Venturini a frustrated last.
Nicky Catsburg Hyundai Motorsport N
My first Quarter Final win, which is very nice as it means we move into Semi Final 1. That was the goal – should have done it in Qualifying but this was the second best option and we took it! The execution went really well, you have a slight advantage when you have your team-mate in the same final. In general, everything went flawlessly and I couldn’t have wished for anything better. The car felt really good, we need to see how we can make some small improvements including on my side, but I think the pace was ok.
Jean-Karl Vernay Hyundai Motorsport N
I did my job and we were able to secure a win for Nicky, so we achieved our target. That’s quite positive. For sure it was quite warm out there but the conditions were cooler than earlier. It was a shame we couldn’t do more in Qualifying but there are still a lot of points on offer tomorrow.
Giovanni Venturini Romeo Ferraris
So it’s nice to fight with two drivers like that; they they did some good team work for sure. We have to work to do, let’s see what happena tomorrow in the Semi Finals.
Pool FURIOUS Quarter Final Two Results
Pool FURIOUS Vallelunga Points Post Quarter Finals
Pool FURIOUS Semi Final Grids
Vallelunga Points after Quarter Finals