Romeo Ferraris was able to celebrate its first King of the Weekend achievement in the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup with a fine performance from local driver Maxime Martin this past weekend in Zolder.
At the wheel of the Giulia ETCR, Maxime was able to put an early technical set-back behind him to score a maximum points haul across Saturday and Sunday’s competitive track action, to dominate Pool FURIOUS from Qualifying through to the DHL Super Final.
“It’s the first time for me, but it’s a perfect weekend. All my family is here, but having a comeback like this after the issue we had Friday is amazing,” said Martin.
“We scored maximum points, and it was great to do it in my home race. Everyone was cheering, the team, the fans, my family and friends and the marshals too.”
For the Belgian the event had started uphill with the technical issue prevented him from competing in the two free practice sessions on Friday. Despite this preparation disadvantage, Martin’s recovery came right from Saturday’s qualifying, signing the best lap time in 1.35.858 and then going on to win Quarter Final 1, Semi-Final 1 and the final heat in which he started ahead of everyone, scoring the maximum 100 points.
For Romeo Ferraris, the triumph adds to that achieved in the Copenhagen round of the predecessor PURE ETCR in 2021 and comes after only one podium obtained by a non-CUPRA competitor (Martin in Budapest) in the previous three rounds of the 2022 calendar.
Aside from Martin, Bruno Spengler was once more in the thick of it, racing in Pool FAST and garnering a tally of 41 points, with success in Semi-Final 2.
“It was a very disappointing DHL Super Final,” said Spengler. “We had a brake issue in the middle of the race and the final issue forced me to slow. We had a fantastic car, but we could not maximize the potential and points. Let’s keep the momentum for home race in Vallelunga.”
In the same Pool FAST group Giovanni Venturini won the Quarter Final 2, right in front of the Canadian, and finished fifth in the DHL Super Final, reaching 40 points.
“It’s a shame we could not continue our progression over the weekend,” said Venturini “The car was good, and it’s a pity I could not count on points in qualifying. Let’s looking forward to our home race in Vallelunga.”
Luca Filippi, with Martin in the FURIOUS Pool, scored the third qualifying time and after facing Quarter Final 1 and Semi-Final 2, he crossed the finish line of the final in fifth position.
“Congrats to Max and the team,” said Filippi. “About my race I was been able to recover a position, but by losing time in the opening lap it was difficult to achieve more. Let’s try to maximise this potential for our next event in Vallelunga.”
After Zolder Romeo Ferraris maintains the second position in the constructors’ ranking with 523 points, and Maxime Martin climbs third among the drivers at 300 points, recovering important ground in the chase for the title. Spengler is now sixth at 223 points, Venturini tenth at 155 and Filippi eleventh at 97.
Romeo Ferraris head home for the next event, Race IT at the Vallelunga circuit across July 22-24.
“The team worked very hard, they had some bad luck with the other drivers, but Zolder was perfect,” said the Zolder winner. “I hope we can bring this momentum to next race in Vallelunga, the team’s home race.”