CUPRA EKS dominated this weekend’s opening round of the FIA ETCR at Circuit de Pau-Ville, with its drivers finishing first, second and third overall and CUPRA claiming the manufacturer’s award.
Such was the team’s performance, CUPRA drivers occupied the top step of the podium throughout the event, with Tom Blomqvist winning the Pool Fast Quarter Final 1 and Adrien Tambay Semi Final 1, whereas in the Pool Furious Quarter Final 1 and Semi Final 1, Mattias Ekström scored victories on both occasions.
Tambay went on to win the Pool Fast SuperFinal with Ekström victorious in the Pool Furious SuperFinal, a result that saw him crowned King of the Event.
The FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup is the world’s first all-electric, multi-brand, touring car series. Its innovative tournament racing format sees drivers divided into two Pools: Pool Fast and Pool Furious, where through a series of battles, points are accumulated towards two SuperFinals.
To ensure drivers concentrate on pure racing and don’t have to conserve battery energy, each battle is limited to a maximum of 20 minutes. The outcome results in close and highly competitive racing between cars that produce up to 500kW of maximum power.
Taking place on the streets around a town synonymous with motorsport, the Circuit de Pau-Ville hosted the first event in the season’s seven round calendar, the tight and twisty nature its 2.762km lap making it a highly technical circuit with no room of error. Consequently, cars would be pushed to their limits, with teams and drivers needing to be on their A-game throughout the event.
Following two qualifying sessions in which the team achieved a record breaking repair on one of the e-Racer cars after an incident. The battles began in earnest in the afternoon with the Quarter Final battles. The CUPRA EKS team opened its account in impressive style with Blomqvist and Tambay finishing first and second in Pool Fast Quarter Final 1.
Ekström signalled his intentions right from the start in the Pool Furious Quarter Final 1, with Jordi Gené claiming second place in Quarter Final 2.
The Semi Finals took place on Sunday morning and once again, the two CUPRA e-Racers topped the Pool Fast scoreboard, this time with Tambay finishing ahead of Blomqvist in Semi Final 1. In the Pool Furious battles Ekström continued his dominant form with another victory in Semi Final 1, Gené also repeating his result from the previous day by finishing runner-up in Semi Final 2.
It now came down to the afternoon’s two SuperFinals. Building on their performance and Impressive teamwork, Tambay and Blomqvist continued their front-running form and proved without doubt, they were the class of the Pool Fast field by scoring another perfect one-two finish.
Boosted by the performance of his two teammates, Ekström was determined to continue his winning streak and following a hard-fought race, he crossed the line to record victory in the Pool Furious SuperFinal and deliver a perfect result for the CUPRA EKS team.
“To finish one, two and three and be top manufacturer on our first weekend with CUPRA EKS is a dream result. Of course, there can only be one winner and I’m happy that it’s me, but Adrien and Tom did a perfect job this weekend which enabled us to score maximum points. It puts us in a very strong position at the start of the season. The final was a tough race and I had to push very hard, so I was pleased to take the victory in the end. I now can’t wait until the next round in Istanbul!”Mattias Ekström
“I am both delighted and emotional to take the win in the SuperFinal at Pau today. My Dad achieved success here in Formula 2 in the 1970s, so the victory in the SuperFinal feels even more special. It’s mega to have done it with a new team and on my return to an FIA World Championship. I would like to thank CUPRA, the whole EKS team and everyone involved. It’s a great start to the season and I can’t wait to be back in the car for the second round in two weeks’ time.”Adrien Tambay
“This is an excellent result for the team today, with Mattias winning the Pool Furious SuperFinal, Adrien taking the win in the Pool Fast SuperFinal and me second. It really couldn’t have gone better. It’s a perfect start to the season for CUPRA and everyone in the EKS team. It’s testimony to all the hard work. This result bodes well for the rest of the year and our bid for the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup title”.Tom Blomqvist
The second round of the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup takes place at Istanbul Park on 20-22nd May.