Cupra’s Azcona wins inaugural Pure ETCR event

Zengo Motorsport X Cupra’s Mikel Azcona made history by overcoming adversity to claim victory in the inaugural Pure ETCR event at Italy’s Vallelunga circuit.

Cupra’s Azcona wins inaugural Pure ETCR event

It was a landmark victory for the Spaniard, who become the first winner of the new all-electric, multi-brand, touring car race series.

Azcona was one of six drivers put in Pool A for Saturday’s two rounds of ‘Battles’ on the short circuit, and led the standings following a pair of victories.

But a puncture-induced spin during Sunday morning’s Time Trial A - which set the grid for the SuperFinal A later in the day - meant he started the longest race of the weekend last.

A stunning fightback brought him victory after the Hyundai Motorsport N Velosters of Augusto Farfus and Tom Chilton suffered punctures of their own while lying first and second.

“We made history, coming to the first weekend of Pure ETCR and winning it,” said Azcona.

“I’m super happy because after free practice I was confident for the Time Trial, but I had really bad luck when I had a puncture at the rear and I had to start the SuperFinal from the rear.

"It was really hard starting with five fast cars in front of me, but I received good information from the team for how to use the Power-Up and I’m just so happy.

“The Cupra has been fast all weekend and the team did a really great job. I’m sad for my team-mate, who had really bad luck with the penalty. This is a great way to start the season.”

 

Photo by: ETCR

Azcona’s SuperFinal A win over Cupra team-mate Jordi Gene meant that the third Cupra driven by Ekstrom, who qualified on pole for SuperFinal B, was the only driver capable of beating him to overall victory.

Unfortunately for Ekstrom, he was disqualified from the results of the Time Trial after the Zengo team worked on his car in pitlane during the session and breached parc-ferme regulations.

While Azcona charged to victory, Ekstrom scythed through the field; ultimately falling less than a second short of winner Jean-Karl Vernay, whose results brought the Hyundai man to second overall, ahead of Ekstrom.

Gene was fourth overall with Romeo Ferraris - M1RA drivers Luca Filippi and Rodrigo Baptista - both of whom completed the podium in their respective SuperFinals - fifth and sixth overall.

Britain’s Oli Webb (Romeo Ferraris - M1RA) and Chilton hold eighth in the standings after the opening event.

The series continues in three weeks’ time at Motorland Aragon, Spain, as part of a double-header with sister series the FIA World Touring Car Cup.

shares
comments
Cupra duo Azcona and Ekstrom on top after first day of Pure ETCR at Vallelunga

Previous article

Cupra duo Azcona and Ekstrom on top after first day of Pure ETCR at Vallelunga

Next article

Geely Group blasts WTCR organiser over Lynk & Co BoP

Geely Group blasts WTCR organiser over Lynk & Co BoP
Load comments
Why the new electric tin-top series deserves to be taken seriously Plus

Why the new electric tin-top series deserves to be taken seriously

The new Pure ETCR series will get underway at Vallelunga this weekend featuring great looking cars, top drivers and real tracks. Its format is wacky, but it exists in an era when its petrol-fuelled brethren are all artificially contrived, and has the potential to move the tin-top game on

WTCR
Jun 17, 2021
The tin-top champion who doesn't know the meaning of retirement Plus

The tin-top champion who doesn't know the meaning of retirement

The news is out that three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx is stepping down from full-time racing. But he's still got plenty of mileage left him in yet, and his son has much more

WTCR
Jun 16, 2020
The phoenix driver who is at peace with his defeats Plus

The phoenix driver who is at peace with his defeats

Esteban Guerrieri spent years trying to make it in single-seaters, and came closer than you'd think to making it to F1. Now he's forging a successful tin-top career, but it's his philosophical approach to defeat and personal growth that is truly impressive

WTCR
Jan 13, 2020
The surprise team orders twisting a world title battle Plus

The surprise team orders twisting a world title battle

Team orders in major touring car racing are nothing unusual with manufacturer honour at stake. But in the 2019 World Touring Cars title fight, one team is raising eyebrows with the choices it is making

WTCR
Nov 18, 2019
The 'weapon' clash that turned a world title battle bitter Plus

The 'weapon' clash that turned a world title battle bitter

Emotions ran high at Suzuka last weekend between two teams gunning for global tin-top bragging rights, and little has been done to cool those tensions since. While that's great news for WTCR, is there a danger of both outfits losing sight of their main aim?

WTCR
Nov 2, 2019
How WTCR's last real independent has stayed in play Plus

How WTCR's last real independent has stayed in play

The World Touring Car Cup has gone from strength to strength for 2019 - but one small team in particular is proving time and again that it merits a place alongside the series' big hitters

WTCR
Apr 23, 2019
The lessons World Touring Cars must heed from history Plus

The lessons World Touring Cars must heed from history

The WTCR has made a massive step up in quality ahead of its second season in its current format, but as manufacturers start to lock horns is it already in danger of repeating other great touring car series' mistakes?

WTCR
Apr 5, 2019
A world champion in waiting's tortuous path to recovery Plus

A world champion in waiting's tortuous path to recovery

Tiago Monteiro seemed destined to win the World Touring Car Championship last year, until a huge testing crash halted his charge. After early whispers of a swift racing return, he recounts his arduous (and incomplete) road to recovery

WTCR
Aug 9, 2018