Cupra takes on learning process at Zolder in FIA ETCR

Last weekend at the Belgian circuit of Zolder, the CUPRA EKS team proved that to win an FIA ETCR race, you need to adapt and learn constantly.

Cupra takes on learning process at Zolder in FIA ETCR

Friday free practice sessions are not for strolling around, especially in a championship like the FIA ETCR where time is always against you.

In these sessions you check the level the team is at from the pace of the drivers, the behaviour of the car and the set-up of all the parameters. It also serves to prepare the team members for the challenge that a race weekend always brings.

The first laps reveal a lot of new things. The settings used on the Jarama circuit are not valid for a quite different circuit like Zolder. A very demanding track for the brakes, with little grip and very fast. The engineers and mechanics receive a lot of information in real time but the solutions have to be as accurate as possible in order to win.

Some drivers know the circuit, others not and some are playing in their own backyard, like Romeo Ferraris' Maxime Martin. The Belgian proved from day one that no one would go faster than him on his home track.

On the weekend you have to be constantly changing. The times reveal whether you have made the best decisions or have to come up with alternatives. For the CUPRA EKS team, it was clear on Friday that they were behind in terms of pace, as both the Hyundai and the Romeo Ferrari were faster. However, as the laps of the Zolder circuit went by, the Spanish team made progress in terms of lap times and put their drivers at the top of the timesheets.

It is very important to have a number of different heads to combine the different options that can be changed on the cars. From tyre pressures to driver lines, every tenth counts, especially in a championship where the differences are minimal and any detail can change the result completely.

As Xavi Serra, head of Technical Development of CUPRA Racing, commented, Zolder proved to be quite a challenge for his team.

"It's a very technical track," he said. “We knew we were going to face many technical challenges. Thanks to the experience of our engineers and mechanics, we have improved a lot and I have to thank them for their hard work.”

Nevertheless, at the end of the weekend, CUPRA EKS drivers Adrien Tambay and Tom Blomqvist managed to second and third respectively, in a lacklustre weekend for reigning champion and two-time King of the Weekend this season, Mattias Ekstrom, who, in any case, managed to finish fifth overall and still has a strong chance in the title fight.

The final victory went to Romeo Ferraris' Martin, who didn't give his rivals a chance and kept a very strong pace from the first stages of the meeting and achieving the first victory for his team.

shares
comments
David Coulthard: Why women racers are more than equal
Previous article

David Coulthard: Why women racers are more than equal

Next article

Magazine: Austrian GP review as Leclerc strikes back

Magazine: Austrian GP review as Leclerc strikes back
Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past Plus

Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past

Rising sportscar star Adam Smalley had to pinch himself when offered the chance to drive the car that won the world’s most famous enduro in 1987

Historics
Sep 6, 2022
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

General
Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021