Seizing the day in Zolder – Friday track thoughts from the FIA ETCR drivers

Welcome to Circuit Zolder for the fourth round of the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup, where our drivers have taken to the track for practice, and taken to the press conference room for the pre-event livestream. Scroll on to hear and read their thoughts ahead of Race BE. 

First order of the day was the all-important Draw, deciding who will belong to Pool FAST and Pool FURIOUS this weekend and ensuring plenty of exciting head-to-heads for Saturday and Sunday. 

Featuring Maxime Martin, Mattias Ekström and Nicky Catsburg in part one, and Luca Filippi, Tom Blomqvist and Mikel Azcona in part two, here is the press conference. 

That’s not everyone though, let’s hear from the entire field after Day 1 of Race BE; quotes from all FIA ETCR drivers incoming below. 



Mattias Ekström 

We have just finished our free practice session, it’s always nice to come to a new track. It’s very challenging. We have some homework to do to try and catch our competitors but I feel we are in a good way and we’ll keep pushing and do our best tomorrow. 

Jordi Gené

It was a very tricky free practice. In the first session, I was very cautious because it’s a new circuit, new everything; I just wanted to get some feeling. And in the second attempt that we managed, I had an issue with the brakes, I ran out of rear brakes, so I could only do the first sector. The car feels quite good. I started to get better references so I really hope that if we can put it all together tomorrow, we are going to have a decent qualifying. 

Adrien Tambay 

It’s been a good first day of testing here. We have a lot of work to do because the competition seems to be quite close. They’re actually in front in free practice so far, but we probably have some areas we can improve. The car has been good, a few mistakes here and there but we are ready for qualifying when it counts tomorrow. 

Tom Blomqvist 

My free practice was a bit interrupted; we had a small issue with the charging and some incident in the pitlane, we had some damage to the car, so I missed my second run but I got two laps – which is better than no laps! But yea, it’s going to be a difficult weekend I think. The Hyundai Motorsport N look super super competitive so we’re going to have our work cut out for us. 


Romeo Ferraris

Bruno Spengler 

We had a little issue with the battery – not related to the team’s fault – so we basically did only three laps. I couldn’t try 500KW so quali will be blind and this compromised a bit the start of our weekend. Let’s what we can do tomorrow but the feeling was good.

Maxime Martin

It’s nice to have the chance to race in Belgium especially with an international series. I didn’t do any lap today because we had a technical issue with the batteries, not related to the team. We are working well during this season, it’s a shame to have lost track time, but I hope we can be competitive in the races tomorrow.

Luca Filippi 

We missed a bit of performance in Jarama and hit some troubles in quarters finals and finals. We start from a blank page here; I have good expectation from this track, there’s no reference with these cars here for anybody, so I think it might be interesting. I have good feelings, the tyres give few grip, so it’s challenging. I had fun driving and I think it will be tricky in qualifying.

Giovanni Venturini 

We had something to investigate on the brakes in FP1, but we fixed it for FP2. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow when we aim to be protagonists for the fight on top.


Hyundai Motorsport N 

Mikel Azcona 

It always feels good when you have the fastest lap of the day. So very very good challenging track, very high for the brakes – it’s all about the hard-braking – the car at the moment is very stable, it’s very safe on this area. So I think it’s fitting very nice for our car but still, we need to keep working because the other teams for sure will do something to follow us. Very good feeling on today’s free practice, but everything can happen so let’s keep working.

Jean-Karl Vernay

We are looking strong, I had no issues in Free Practice so I could properly prepare myself for the weekend ahead. Now we have good data to set the car up well for tomorrow. I’m feeling really positive. I think we will have some good sessions on-track.

Norbert Michelisz 

It was a good session, the circuit seems to suit us a bit more than previous ones. Of course it is always tricky to take conclusions from Friday because the track is in a different condition from the rest of the weekend but still, the feeling is good – probably the best it has been so far this season. I hope the trend will continue like this, because we have a strong base from which to work on tomorrow and I’m very happy with the car.

Nicky Catsburg 

As expected, it’s kinda going a little bit easier for me than it was in Spain. Just because it’s the second time, I felt like as a team, we’ve made some good steps. So I think we’ve been P1 and P2 pretty much every session. So that’s the way to go. And I still believe there’s more room to grow both for me and for the team. But so far, it’s gone really well. I’ve learned the car I’ve learned the procedures, and it’s just more confidence, for sure. It helps.