CUPRA EKS driver Adrien Tambay took a step closer to taking the first-ever FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup title with a win in the first Pool FURIOUS Quarter Final where the Frenchman dominated for 98% of the time, even if Hyundai Motorsport N’s Norbert Michelisz stalked his prey in epic fashion on the last lap to take the lead at the start of the final corner, only to lose it moments later as Tambay crossed the line just ahead. Mikel Azcona meanwhile took the FURIOUS Quarter Final Two win for Hyundai Motorsport N after an early fight with CUPRA EKS man Jordi Gené and late dice with hithertoo race-long leader Luca Filippi whose Romeo Ferraris Giulia ETCR had led from pole till the final corner too.
The first FURIOUS Quarter Final had looked to be playing out to be something of a straight-forward affair with Tambay seemingly sprinting off at ease at the start whilst Michelisz found himself under pressure from Bruno Spengler in his Romeo Ferraris. At the end of the first lap Tambay was over a second ahead, whilst Michelisz had far less of a gap to Spengler behind.
By the end of the second lap, Michelisz had broken the tow to Spengler, who subsequently complained of a sliding rear end, and could focus on reeling in Tambay. The Veloster N ETCR driver decimated the gap and closed right up with Tambay for the final lap. Tambay kept his cool, even when Norbi nudged his nose past at the start of the final corner, and it was a drag race to the chequered flag from which the CUPRA eRacer ETCR emerged ahead by 0.261secs to Tambay’s jubilation.
Pool FURIOUS Quarter Final One Results
Adrien Tambay CUPRA EKS
Yeah, it was a tough battle. I fought I was in control at the beginning and then Norbert was quite quick. So it got on my back and it was quite a big fight until the end of the line and I’m pretty happy that we managed to make it work and score the maximum points so far. So yeah, let’s keep our head down. Still a lot of laps to do tomorrow and still some points to go grab
Norbert Michelisz Hyundai Motorsport N
This was the best run of the weekend, but I had the perfect car for it. From the beginning, as soon as the tyres were up to temperature I was confident to push and very happy inside the car. I realised I had a little bit more Power Up left, but he just was also pushing a lot for the last lap, so I needed to use my Power Up. I wanted to do a surprise move and to spare half a second or a second exiting the last corner but unfortunately I needed to use that one to get alongside. I did my best, it was a good race, a lot of fun from the inside. I’m happy with second.
Bruno Spengler Romeo Ferraris
Yeah, obviously not happy about the result. There was nothing I could really do to challenge. Norbert mica leads he seemed to have an excessive amount of power out of every corner, let’s say. So well, pretty difficult to do anything against that he was pulling away. Each corner exits by 10-15 metres. So there’s nothing really I could do unfortunately, we have to see what we can improve for tomorrow. Tomorrow’s a new day. Maybe it’s raining in the final so it could make things very interesting. So yeah, today is not the best day but we focus maximum on tomorrow. Try to make tomorrow a better day.
Pool FURIOUS Quarter Final Two
The second FURIOUS Quarter Final was action from the get-go, with Azcona relegated to P3 on the grid after his post-qualifying penalty and eager to do everything possible to make amends. Pole-man Luca Filippi made a decent start in his Romeo Ferraris but all three drivers bunched up in the first corner with Jordi Gené throwing his CUPRA EKS right into the mix.
Filippi managed to withstand this initial pressure and the battle turned into one between the two Spaniards, from which Azcona would soon emerge ahead and Gené would soon suffer a resultant air loss to his right rear with a damaged valve, causing him to slow and retire on the second lap.
Azcona meanwhile tracked down Filippi, using all of the track and then some around the outside at T11, just tipping Filippi off-line on the run to the final corner, where the Italian went wide, on the marbles and into the gravel, as Azcona cruised through to take the chequered flag.
Mikel Azcona Hyundai Motorsport N
The Quarter Final was a very intense race. In all honestly I expected a more relaxed race but from the very beginning I felt Jordi was attacking to keep the position and I had to go a little bit harder into that. Luckily I took P2. From this point on I felt very nice with the car, the car was performing very well with no issues. This made me very comfortable going to the limit. On the last lap I had to attack Filippi; he was very defensive on the exit of T11 and I saw the space on the left, and I went for it. When I was there he closed the door very late. I am very happy for the team and now we progress to Semi Final 1, which is positive news. We are still fighting.
Luca Filippi Romeo Ferraris
So it was very challenging and interesting Quarter Final. First of all, the car was really good to drive and I really enjoyed the car and the set-up. On the last lap, two conrners from the end there was a bit of contact with Azcona. The contact doesn’t bother me, but his pass was completed off the track, so I’m expecting a penalty for him, but we don’t know yet. We’ll see. Anyways, I’m pleased for the set-up and for the car and look forward to tomorrow.
Jordi Gené CUPRA EKS
It was a good start and a good first corner. On the second turn I was fighting with Mikel and I don’t know why, but every time we get side by side, I end up with a puncture. We have to change our rims or something because I don’t understand why? There was contact when I was trying to force him wide because it was my corner, but no chance; once again we had an issue.
Pool FURIOUS Quarter Final Two Results
Of note off track, Maxime Martin received a five-second penalty after his Pool FAST Quarter Final for his passing move on Jean-Karl Vernay, which dropped him in the finishing order to P3 in that heat, changing the points.