Pau practice thoughts from the FIA ETCR drivers

They’ve all been out on track in Pau Ville for practice for Infinite Reality Race FR, the first round of the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup, so here’s some initial impressions from the day from our drivers.




Mattias Ekström

The track was really a great experience. Turn one going in with roughly 180kph coming from 240kph was super exciting. Then first hairpin up the hill it was very difficult to find braking for  turn two then I would say the super slow and hairpin right. And from then on this fast section over the top, the long left to long right. And then from then on back to the finish, cutting curbs and chicanes and elevation and a lot of curbs everywhere. And yeah, the anxiety was high, but we are happy so far. We had good lap times and good pace. So we’ll keep improving from there and see if we can continue this. Over the weekend will be mega.


Jordi Gené

Very good practice sessions. I’m happy that everything went well. In the first session I always take it as a shakedown. And this is a very exciting shakedown with 500 kilowatts so all in all everything is very positive. Well, things run well,  drivers run well, so I’m happy and let’s see if we continue with this pace.


Adrien Tambay

Well, very good impressions but I expected that, it’s track a I enjoy really, really much driving on and to do that with the ETCR car is quite special. A lot of power and driving around the streets in between the rails is a big challenge. So actually it happened quite well so far. But that was only free practice and to be honest, it counts for nothing and just gives us a little bit of confidence boost to try and keep it on the on the road on the road, not putting one foot wrong and then bring this to bring the pace to towards the front further into the weekend. So, really looking forward to the next free practice session and qualify.


Tom Blomqvist

Good first day definitely an eye opener. First lap my eyes balls were wide open as I got to grips with the track and the car you know it’s quite thrilling around here especially on 500 kilowatts very difficult but the awesome challenge you know Pau is a quite a tricky unique circuit but a great fun so had a lot of fun today and car was working well so fingers crossed for tomorrow.



Romeo Ferraris


Luca Filippi

Extremely fun but a difficult circuit. I’ve never been here and it was really tough at the beginning. I had to, you know to learn a little bit still I don’t think I’m on the limit. I have to improve my driving and we can also improve the car but it’s fun.


[End of day]

It was a really interesting day. A new circuit for me and really tricky; one of the most challenging I ever been to before. So definitely, still a bit to learn from every point of view, but qualifying is tomorrow. So today was just about learning so you have the car and getting ready for the race.


Maxime Martin

For sure it’s new track, learning the whole thing, so it’s we don’t have a lot of laps and it’s not easy but with no issues and no mistakes now so we have some data to look forward for the next session


[End of day]

Yeah, a good session. I mean, again, not a lot of laps but for sure way better session than FP1. And yeah, at the end it is still free practice, so it’s still a long way to go but made some improvements and I think we can, we can work from there for the rest of the weekend.


Giovanni Venturini

This session honestly was important to get to know the track. I feel good with the car. We have to work a bit to reach CUPRA that has is a bit of an advantage at the moment but we will work to it and we’ll do it.


[End of day]

So we did the first night free practice. We are struggling a bit on 500KW, but the maxima show us that it’s possible to be P1. So we have to work with 300 that we are not bad condition, but there is still work to do, but I’m sure that we are ready tomorrow.


Bruno Spengler

The big discovery was discovering this track with this car is very different. Last time I was here was 2004, so I had to discover the corners again and find the limit which I feel I’m still quite far away from. We still have I think a bit of work to do to improve, first driving, and also the car a little bit to get a bit more confidence but I think next session will help us a lot to get ready for tomorrow.


[end of day]

I think we learned some things since FP1, I’m feeling a bit more confident with the car and with the track. Also, the car has improved a little bit so it’s a good sign. I think we made a step towards tomorrow to get ready for qualifying and just need to just need to find even more confidence even more pushing with the car on this track tomorrow, but we’re getting there step by step. So I think the progress we made today through the day is very positive and we just have to keep going like that for tomorrow.



Hyundai Motorsport N


Mikel Azcona

In the first practice my goal was to know the track to get used to it as it is new for me. So, taking it easy, getting good experience and the knowledge from 300KW to 500KW. And I think we were competitive. Then for the second free practice it was a step forward in terms of confidence by setting up the car and everything I have to say I put them out into the limit I found the limit I’m confident because we did a really good lap with 500KW. The car works well and is slightly better than the first free practice which is so important on this track for the confidence for the driver, you need a full confidence just to go flat out and close to the limit. So I think I had this full confidence and you’re looking forward for tomorrow but I think I can sleep well today.


Norbert Michelisz

I mean it’s okay today was about finding the rhythm building, building the confidence. I still think that I’m missing small things related to the car and especially in a circuit like this I am not 100% confident to push the limits. I tried on my last round but I went a bit too close to one curve so I decided to back off, but in general the feeling is that I mean the car is capable of good results now it’s just about having the I don’t want to say right driver, but the right driver confidence to being able to exploit the limits.


Jean-Karl Vernay

That was tricky. The track is much more difficult than it is in Formula cars. But it’s fun. It’s just super challenging and you need to be confident. And yeah, I’m not ready to push and represent and that’s anyway, it’s not the time so let’s keep it for tomorrow. But no, I think we are improving, we just need to improve some stuff, making sure that we don’t have any issue with traction control. But no, we’re looking good.


Kevin Ceccon:

It was good day first proper official day of this FIA ETCR 2022 My first day in the series it’s good that didn’t know Pau we didn’t test enough this winter so it’s getting there getting the confidence and learning the track and looks good. At the moment we are in the middle of the pack so for the first time out looks it looks okay. We just need to build the confidence and get experience so we knew that this weekend is not going to be easy, but we need to not do mistakes and just learn as much as possible.