CUPRA EKS driver Adrien Tambay and Romeo Ferraris’ Bruno Spengler took wins apiece in the Pool FAST Semi Finals on Sunday morning at Circuito Madrid Jarama-RACE.
Sunday morning provided a cooler track, licked by moderate winds, and in the first Semi Final between CUPRA EKS duo Tambay and Jordi Gené and Hyundai Motorsport N’s Norbert Michelisz were three abreast down the straight into the first corner and then exiting the corner as Tambay tried a move around the outside on his team-mate. It was a move that stuck as the points leader coming into this weekend took the lead, whilst Gené then had to deal with the attentions of Michelisz.
The experienced Gené drove a robust defence at a track he knows so well, but the benefit of the Power Up is the overtake creation in unexpected areas, and so it came to pass with an inside line Power Up assist up the hill for Michelisz to gain the advantage on the penultimate lap. Whilst Tambay was untroubled up front, Gené set about trying to regain the position. It was to no avail, as the trio crossed the finish line Tambay-Michaelisz-Gené.
Pool FAST Semi Final 1 Results
For the second Pool FAST Semi Final, it was another tight one into turn one with Hyundai Motorsport N’s Jean-Karl Vernay the meat in a Romeo Ferraris sandwich with pole-sitter Bruno Spengler on the inside and Luca Filippi to the outside. Spengler made contact with Vernay, who in turn touched Filippi in a showcase ‘rubbing is racing’ down to turn one. Spengler emerged ahead whilst Filippi and Vernay continued their dice. Filippi was through to P2 after a few more turns, but the contact betwixt the two was soon to prove problematic for him.
Vernay kept the pressure on as the battle entered its second lap, but soon it was Christmas all at once for him as Filippi dramatically spun off ahead. In their earlier dice, the Romeo Ferraris bodywork had been relocated to rub against Filippi’s tyre and a puncture and blow was the result. Filippi out again, Vernay now had the task to close down Spengler. J-K tracked his rival down, but ultimately would not have sufficient Power Ups to attack after closing and Spengler took the win.
Pool FAST Semi Final 2 Results
Pool FAST Standings post Semi Finals
Adrien Tambay, CUPRA
It was a great wake up call in the morning! I didn’t have a great sleep last night because I wanted to get rid of my mistakes from Saturday. And today it played out as planned I had to overtake for the lead soon enough to get away from the others and this is what happened. I stayed outside on the first corner and there was very fair racing today.
Jordi Gené, CUPRA EKS
That was not as I expected. I was happy with second place but not with third because we had good pace but Hyundai in colder temperatures also improved. Norbi’s move was unexpected as it was in a place that I was not closing the door. I was just looking forward and when I realized he was inside I could do nothing. That is my frustration that I didn’t defend he took me by surprise. for the rest the car’s okay, and we’ll see in the Super Final.
Nortbert Michelisz, Hyundai Motorsport N
It was a good race, I tried to do my best at the start but being on the outside line is never easy. I couldn’t manage to do the undercut exiting the first corner, I tried to overtake them both but they were clever to use the Power Up as well. From then, I was trying to pressure Jordi. I felt I was a little bit faster but not fast enough to overtake him on a “normal” corner, so I thought I would do something slightly unexpected. Fortunately it worked! The target was to get to the front row, which I’m happy we achieved. The Super Final is the longest and toughest race of the weekend. Starting on the front row is a good base but still, the job is not done. We need to finish the race and score points, and fight the others. It is as simple as that.
Bruno Spengler, Romeo Ferraris
Definitely happy to score the points to win this race. I think we made another little step towards the right direction for today. Again a great job from the team over the weekend to improve our car day by day and I was very happy about the initial two laps. In the end. I was dealing a bit with my Power Up to still have some for the very end to be sure if anything happens, then if Jean-Karl would be close to me, it would be safe which was the case, so it’s a good victory and good points and now we focus on to the DHL Super Final.
Jean-Karl Vernay, Hyundai Motorsport N
I was waiting for a tough battle with the Romeo Ferraris and it came right on the first lap at turn one. I was in the middle and they both closed the door. Now I feel really comfortable on this track, it’s too bad we had the issue in practice. The car is great and now I feel really good. We were able to come back in the race and to be faster than the Romeo Ferraris, which is positive and now we must focus on this afternoon. We can see a lot of action so we are going to have to be there waiting to capitalise on possibilities.
Luca Filippi, Romeo Ferraris
We were one and two Bruno and I. But after the start, I had some contact from behind from Jean-Karl which wasn’t a big impact, but it was enough to make some rubbing from the bumper into the tyre. So corner by corner lap by lap this made an issue and the puncture in the tyre until the tyre just went. So it was a shame. Luckily, the car is fine and looking forward to this afternoon.