PHOTO: FIA ETCR
Sustainability in Touring car racing: How is the future looking?
During the TCR World Tour and TCR Europe weekend at Hungaroring, we had a chance to sit down with Marcello Lotti, president of WSC, at a media round-table and talk about the future plans for the TCR concept.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
Back in the day, TCR concept revolutionized Touring car racing, with it being financially approachable, but the next step was electrification. In 2021, PURE ETCR was born, only to be renamed to ETCR eTouring Car Cup one season later.
But it was in 2023 that Discovery Sports Events withdrew from the promoter role and the next season of electrified touring car racing competition did not happen. However, there is a plan for the future of sustainable touring car racing competition.
According to Marcello Lotti, there is a plan for a Hybrid system to be introduced into TCR machinery.
"We are developing a hybrid system, a very cheap one, that when you buy it, you can just connect it to your regular TCR car, and everything is set. Romeo Ferraris has one, and also Peugeot is developing a new 308. There is also a possiblity of the Hybrid TCR cars to race with the regular TCR cars, if we can find a suitable balance of performance, that is good for everyone. I know that it is not a favorite word among you, but it is the solution that we can use. We have new manufacturers that will start supplying clients, and we are starting form the beginning, looking for a promoter."
We also spoke to Mikel Azcona, a driver who raced for both Cupra and Hyundai in ETCR. The Spanish racer said he would really like to race in that championship again.
"ETCR was a very exciting championship, racing with 700 horsepower cars with rear-wheel drive. It was very nice to drive, you feel the power straight away. I was happy racing for both Cupra and Hyundai, where I was able to win championships. I don't know if the championship will be back, but I would like to race in it again, we were there from the start, with electrification, and advances in mobility, but let us wait and see."
Luca Filippi gets three new teammates for ETCR season 2022
Maxime Martin, Bruno Spengler and Giovanni Venturini join Luca Filippi to complete the Romeo Ferraris Driver Line-up ahead of the second season of ETCR.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
Martin is an established GT specialist, having debuted in 2009 and becoming a protagonist in numerous international series and an official driver for prestigious brands, both in Europe and the United States. In addition to his participation in the Blancpain GT Series and various editions of the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring, Maxime's curriculum features the GTE-Pro class victory at the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans, when he was also a class runner-up in the WEC, as well as a win in Spa 24 Hours in 2016.
For four years, between 2014 and 2017, Martin was also at the start of the DTM championship, clinching three wins and another seven podium finishes, confirming his great ability to adapt to different types of cars.
"I am thrilled to be able to debut in a cutting-edge championship like the FIA ETCR and to be able to measure myself for the first time at the wheel of an electric racing car like the Giulia ETCR of Romeo Ferraris, which in 2021 has already shown great potential. I have many years of experience with tin-top cars, and touring car races for me are almost a return to the past, but obviously, now there is the curiosity and enthusiasm provided by a new technical challenge. I’m eager to contribute to the team to grow together and obtain great results, knowing I’ll be working with a group of very capable people", said the Belgian racer.
The bond between Filippi and the manufacturer of Opera was established in 2020, with the participation in four rounds of the FIA WTCR World Championship at the wheel of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris lined up by Team Mulsanne. In 2021, the multifaceted driver from Mondovì was involved in the ETCR program, finishing seventh in the overall standings with 218 total points, and with the second place overall in the Copenhagen round as his best result.
"I am really excited to remain linked to Romeo Ferraris to renew the challenge in the FIA ETCR championship, after the positive experience of last year in an innovative and fascinating world. We were immediately able to show the potential of the Giulia ETCR project, and for the 2022 season we are aiming for even more important results. We will fight against very competitive opponents, but in addition to an excellent technical basis, I know I can count on a working group with which I felt at ease right from the start. It will be a pleasure to continue together with Michela Cerruti , Mario Ferraris and the rest of the team", said Filippi.
In the 2018-2019 season, Spengler played the role of test an reserve driver in Formula E, also participating in the Marrakech rookie test and various private practice sessions, his first contact with zero-emission racing cars. In his curriculum stands out his past in the DTM, of which he contested 15 editions between 2005 and 2019.
The French-Canadian won the 2012 title of the German Touring car series, finished twice as runner-up (2006 and 2007) and three times third (2010, 2011 and 2013). Spengler has established himself among the most successful drivers ever in the DTM, conquering a total of 14 victories, 38 podium finishes, 17 pole-positions and 14 fastest laps, defending the colours of two different and important manufacturers.
"I am approaching my debut in the FIA ETCR championship with great enthusiasm, returning to being involved in Touring racing but this time with fully electric cars. I have already had experience as a test driver in Formula E, discovering the potential of this technology, but the race sensations it offers are something completely different. Last year, as a spectator, I appreciated Romeo Ferraris' ability to bring a competitive project like the Giulia ETCR to the track. Now it will be nice to be able to give my contribution and fight together for prestigious results. On a personal level, it will be interesting to start the season on the Pau street circuit, where I raced 18 years ago, and to revive the beginnings of my career", said Spengler.
For Venturini, the entry into the FIA ETCR marks the beginning of a new professional adventure, after eight seasons in GT competitions that have seen him claiming the 2017 overall title in the International GT Open. He was also a protagonist in the Italian series, and in the European and American GT World Challenge.
Giovanni's rich curriculum includes excellent results in single-seaters at the beginning of his career, with successes collected between 2008 and 2013 in Formula 2000 Light, Formula Renault 2.0, Auto GP and in the GP3 Series part of the ticket supporting Formula 1 Grand Prix.
"This year a new chapter in my career opens and I was immediately thrilled by the opportunity to race with Romeo Ferraris in the FIA ETCR championship. It is a project with ample room for growth and very fascinating, even more so because it will allow me to discover firsthand the strengths of electric propulsion in motorsport. I know I have a lot to learn, but I expect to be competitive at the wheel of the Giulia ETCR already in Pau, a track where I have always wanted to measure myself. This opportunity has arrived", said Venturini.
"I am delighted with the line-up we have put together for this edition of the FIA ETCR. Giovanni is another driver of great value who has chosen to race with us after Luca, Maxime and Bruno: thanks to this quartet we can count on talent, speed, experience and their ability to work in highly structured organizations, contributing to the technical development of the car. These are precious assets, which will allow us to grow further as a team as well as a manufacturer and to make the Giulia ETCR even more competitive. To have drivers of this caliber on board our project gives us an additional dose of enthusiasm for the start of the season in Pau", said the Team Principal, Michela Cerruti.
Blomqvist and Tambay join ekstrom and gene in cupra
CUPRA EKS has unveiled a dynamic livery for this year’s FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup - with Tom Blomqvist and Adrien Tambay joining current ETCR champion Mattias Ekström and Jordi Gené in the all-electric touring car team.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
The 2021 title-winning CUPRA e-Racer will appear in a striking new livery designed to represent the revolutionary change inspired by the digital world.
The multi-layered and chameleonic body colour, with vivid and morphing green and violet hues scattered by neon yellow kinetic accents, is a design inspired and influenced by the digital world and signals a revolutionary change in the brand’s aesthetics.
There will be innovations under the skin too. The CUPRA e-Racer’s weight optimisation has been enhanced, while reinforced parts make it even more robust. The car will also feature a new roof hatch above the driver’s helmet and removable plastic windows which will allow medical access to the cockpit where entry via the doors is otherwise compromised.
“We are very pleased to announce our exciting CUPRA EKS driver line-up for this year’s FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup,” said Xavi Serra, CUPRA Racing Head of Technical Development.
“To bring drivers of the calibre of Tom Blomqvist and Adrien Tambay into the all-electric series for the first time is something very special, and we are sure they will adapt well and score very good result – whilst in Mattias Ekström and Jordi Gené we have the experience, race winning skill and continuity that every team dreams of having.”
HYUNDAI REVEALS DRIVER LINE-UP FOR 2022 ETCR
Five drivers, including touring car heavyweight Jean-Karl Vernay, will race the Hyundai Veloster N ETCR in the seven-event series – which began last year under the PURE ETCR name and now assumes FIA World Cup status for the first time.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
The Frenchman will be joined by fellow global superstars Norbert Michelisz and Mikel Azcona on a full-time basis while Nicky Catsburg and Kevin Ceccon will share the final entry. Vernay was one of the stars of electric touring car racing in 2021, heading a Hyundai one-two at the final event of the season on home soil at Pau-Arnos to seal the runner-up spot in the series.
Spaniard Azcona, who moved to Hyundai from CUPRA during the winter, was just one place behind Vernay in the standings and was the only driver to take more than one PURE ETCR round victory last year. They are joined by 2019 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup winner Michelisz, from Hungary, who gave the Veloster N ETCR its public track debut at MotorLand Aragón in November 2020, and who has been a fixture during pre-season testing.
Italian ace Ceccon – a WTCR race winner – is set to contest the opening three rounds of the series, having won four times on his way to second place in TCR Italy last year at the wheel of a Hyundai. Dutchman Catsburg will make his FIA ETCR debut at Jarama, Spain, in June, and brings a CV that includes a WTCR victory with Hyundai plus multiple international victories and major race wins in GT racing.
Hyundai Motorsport has undergone a technical revamp during the Winter with new engineers joining the project to work on the Veloster N ETCR, which produces 500kW peak energy from its all-electric ETCR powertrain.
Julian Moncet, Hyundai Motorsport Deputy Team Principal, said: “As a team we can look back on our successes in PURE ETCR with the Hyundai Veloster N ETCR with pride. However, we set high standards for all our projects and we know there is still more performance possible and we want to show this in FIA ETCR in 2022. Since the final round in France last year our team have been working hard to find the maximum performance from the car ready for the new season. We have added further to an experienced squad of engineers dedicated to the project as we head towards the first races of 2022. We have strengthened our driver line-up for this season with drivers with experience in ETCR and competition, as well as a huge range of other racing series. Their input during pre-season testing has been vital as we work to develop the car ready for a new year of competition. The results from the running we have already completed has been very positive, and there is still more to come before the first competitive weekend. When we line-up in the gates for the opening race of the season we know we will be as well prepared as possible.”
Xavier Gavory, FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup Series Director, said: “After taking the title fight down to the last DHL SuperFinal of 2021, Hyundai Motorsport returns with a new-look line-up that blends five outstanding touring car drivers together. Having Jean-Karl Vernay and Mikel Azcona – two of 2021’s star performers – back in the series is obviously great news while the addition of world title winner Norbert Michelisz and two more racing aces in Nicky Catsburg and Kevin Ceccon shows the continued growth of electric motorsport on a global level. It’s shaping up to be an outstanding season already.”
Cupra confirms 2022 entry, partners with EKS
CUPRA Racing has formed a brand-new partnership with the ultra-successful EKS team, owned by Mattias Ekström, while also becoming the first brand to confirm its plans for the inaugural FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup this year.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
Ekström and CUPRA claimed last year’s all-electric touring car crown under its previous guise as PURE ETCR and have now strengthened their partnership as the series gains FIA World Cup status for the first time.
CUPRA EKS will be responsible for the operation and development of the CUPRA eRacer, which won three of the five events in 2021 with Ekström and Mikel Azcona under the CUPRA X Zengo Motorsport name and aims for more title success. Created by Ekström in 2014, the Swedish squad has been one of the front-runners in rallycross, claiming the FIA WRX Drivers’ and Teams’ titles in ’16 and more recently branching out into rally raids, where it scored a one-two result in the T3 class of this year’s Dakar Rally.
FIA ETCR is the world’s first all-electric touring car series with a World title at stake. Manufacturers compete against each other using the most powerful touring cars ever built; the maximum 500kW (670bhp) beasts battling it out on a combination of iconic racetracks and innovative street circuits through numerous short, sharp Battle races for the ultimate prize.
With sustainability at the heart of the series, the on-track excitement comes with a commitment to provide a global platform for the world’s biggest automotive manufacturers to showcase their latest electric cars in the high-intensity world of motorsport.
Mattias Ekström, EKS Team Principal, said: “Our new partnership with CUPRA marks an exciting time for EKS team, as we enter the world of electric racing. As always, we are in the FIA ETCR all-electric Touring Car World Cup for the win and CUPRA EKS is fully focused on the forthcoming season, with our #GoHardOrGoHome racing philosophy! We share the passion of the sport and together we look forward to scoring many more race wins and titles under the CUPRA EKS banner.”
Xavier Gavory, Series Director, ETCR FIA eTouring Car World Cup, said: “After the excitement of 2021, it is great news that CUPRA has become the first manufacturer to announce their partner team for the new season, just as they were the first to publicly enter last year. In EKS, CUPRA brings a World Championship-winning team founded by our reigning title winner. Mattias Ekström’s status as one of the greatest touring car champions of all time – and certainly one of the most versatile drivers competing at the top level of motorsport – will help enhance awareness of FIA ETCR and electric motorsport on a global scale.”
FIA ETCR WELCOMES ERA AS ITs FEEDER SERIES
ERA Championship is world’s first all-electric junior single-seater series, that will charge into life at the second round of the FIA ETCR at Istanbul’s Street Circuit on May 20-22
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
A new generation of drivers will stake their case for a place in the FIA ETCR - eTouring Car World Cup as the all-new ERA Championship for electric single-seaters supports it at five events this year.
After the Istanbul’s Street Circuit round on May 20-22, ERA will then continue its support status at the summer events at the Hungaroring and Jarama in June and then Zolder and Vallelunga in July.
A field of 10 junior drivers will race identical Mitsu-Bachi F110e single-seaters in the 10 races. The Mitsu-Bachi comprises an ERA sub-chassis, designed and made in-house in Belgium, melded to the Japanese Dome F110 chassis and fitted with a 24kWh battery.
The ERA electric powertrain will produce a peak output of 130kW (175bhp), making for top speeds of around 210kph for the 680kg single-seater (including driver), while performance modes will be adaptable at the flick of a switch.
Free practice, two qualifying sessions and two races are scheduled to be held at each event, creating a thrilling and sustainable 10-race season in which the top drivers and technicians can prove their performance and potential in front of FIA ETCR’s team bosses and fans.
Highlights of every race will be broadcast on Eurosport channels on the Tuesday after each event in more than 70 countries in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Details of a live broadcast package - to be available on several platforms in 2022 - will be revealed at a later date.
ERA Championship provisional 2022 calendar
(All rounds support FIA ETCR - eTouring Car World Cup)
Round 1: Street Circuit of Beyoglu - Istanbul, Turkey, May 20-22
Round 2: Hungaroring, Hungary, June 10-12
Round 3: Circuito del Jarama, Spain, June 17-19
Round 4: Circuit Zolder, Belgium, July 8-10*
Round 5: Autodromo Vallelunga, Italy, July 22-24*
*Subject to agreement with event promoter
**Calendar remains subject to the ERA Championship adhering to the requirements of an FIA International Series"
pure etcr BECOMES FIA ETCR - ETOURING CAR WORLD CUP
Touring car racing enters an all-new era in 2022 as PURE ETCR evolves into the FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup, with an expanded seven-event schedule.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
Following the global interest in the world’s first all-electric, multi-brand touring car series during its groundbreaking 2021 season that caused an electroshock through motorsport, the step-up to FIA World status creates an even greater opportunity for the world’s leading car manufacturers to display their latest electric cars to the planet.
Agreed by the FIA Touring Car Commission and rubber-stamped by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris today, the schedule, created by series promoter Discovery Sports Events, marks the first time that drivers and manufacturers of all-electric touring cars will compete for FIA World titles.
Powering up for a new season
All entrants will once again drive cars created around the WSC Group’s ETCR concept, meaning that with a peak power of 500kW (670hp) available to each driver, FIA ETCR will showcase the most powerful touring cars ever built to battle for an FIA World title. Power from the Williams Advanced Engineering battery pack is fed through Magelec Propulsion gearbox, motor and inverters. BrightLoop converters transform voltage for low-power items while the charging process – powered by HTWO Hydrogen generators – takes a car from zero to full battery in under an hour at paddock-based Energy Station.
Tweaked event format for 2022
This year debuted a world-first in international circuit racing with the traditional race format thrown away and replaced by a series of short, sharp Battles, in which drivers accumulate points and build towards the DHL SuperFinals. The FIA Touring Car Commission and FIA World Motor Sport Council have approved a number of new innovations to the Sporting Regulations for the 2022 season, aimed at making the on-track action even more spectacular and sparking viral debate among new legions of fans. Details will be announced in due course.
Sustainability commitments remain a priority
With the majority of the calendar centred on Europe, road transport will be utilised wherever possible, while the Asian finale at Inje Speedium, South Korea, will be reached via sea freight, creating 90 per cent carbon emissions than the equivalent trip via air. The presence of HTWO’s hydrogen generators at the Energy Station mean the only by-product of the charging process will be water, while Goodyear’s all-weather race tyre means fewer units need to be manufacturered, transported and disposed of, again reducing environmental impact. On top of this, FIA ETCR will continue to work with sustainability partners to record and reduce the environmental impact of the series in all the countries visited.
FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup 2022 calendar
Round 1: Race FR, Circuit de Pau-Ville, France, May 6-8*
Round 2: Race TR, Street Circuit of Beyoglu – Istanbul, Turkey, May 20-22
Round 3: Race HU, Hungaroring, Hungary, June 10-12*
Round 4: Race SP, Circuito del Jarama, Spain, June 17-19
Round 5: Race BE, Circuit Zolder, Belgium, July 8-10**
Round 6: Race IT, Autodromo Vallelunga, Italy, July 22-24**
Round 7: Race KR, Inje Speedium, South Korea, October 7-9*
*Double-header with WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup
**Subject to agreement with circuit promoter
pure etcr final round - Day three:
VERNAY WINS, BUT TITLE GOES TO EKSTROM
After a dramatic Superfinal B which closed out the final PURE ETCR weekend, Ekstrom won the title, four points ahead of Jean-Karl Vernay
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
Superfinals see all drivers of a particular Pool driving all together in a single race, and in Pau-Arnos, these races are seven laps long.
Pool A drivers started their Superfinal with Augusto Farfus and Daniel Nagy lining up in front row, ahead of the two Romeo Ferraris cars of Oliver Web and Luca Filippi, while Mikel Azcona and John Filippi started the race from the third row.
Farfus kept first place after the start, and John Filippi was agressive when defending from Azcona towards the first corner and got up to fifth. Azcona tried once more to pass the Veloster, but after another contact, remained behind it.
Azcona overtook John Filippi in the second lap and started to go after Webb, while, in lap 4 Luca Filippi passed Nagy for second. The Hungarian racer didn't want to hamper his teammate's race and title push, so he let Azcona to get to third place in the penultimate lap.
Farfus was the first go over the finish line, ahead of Luca Filippi and Azcona. Nagy, Webb and John Filippi completed the top 6 of Superfinal A. With the points he scored, Azcona was level on points with the current leader, Matthias Esktrom, who was up to race in Superfinal B.
Swedish racer, behind the wheel of his Leon e-Racer started his superfinal from Pole-position, ahead of Philipp Eng's Giulia. Behind them were the two Veloster drivers, Jean-Karl Vernay and Tom Chilton. Rodrigo Baptista in the other Romeo Feraris Giulia started from the back row with Jordi Gene along side.
Ekstrom and Eng fought wheel-to-wheel and neither one wanted to let go ahead of turn one, which ended in an incident where both drivers landed in the gravel. Vernay and Chilton took first two places with Baptista and Gene behind them.
Eng and Ekstrom went into the pits, where Eng's car could not be repaired, while the Cupra Crew managed to fix the car and the Swedish racer managed to win the race, which was enough for him to win the title.
With a win in the Superfinal Vernay scored the most points, to be crowned the King of the Weekend. Chilton finished the race in second place, ahead of Baptista. Gene and Ekstrom were fourth and fifth, while Eng did not finish.
In the standings, Ekstrom finished the season with 320 points, Vernay had 316, while Azcona gathered 300 points. Cupra won the Manufacturers' trophy with 646 points. Romeo Ferraris scored 579, while Hyundai got 578 points.
pure etcr final round - Day two:
EKSTROM ON POLE AND 34 POINTS CLEAR
Rounds 2 and 3 of the Final PURE ETCR 2021 race weekend at Pau-Arnos E-Circuit ended with Matthias Ekstrom getting pole-position for his Superfinal, ahead of Eng and Vernay, while Azcona made a mistake and qualified fifth for his Superfinal.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
Day two started with the second round of competing, where for both Pools three races of two drivers per Pool are driven, with the winner getting 12 points, and the second placed driver collecting 6 points. Each race in Round 2 is two laps long.
Winners of two Round 1 battles of Pool A, Mikel Azcona and Augusto Farfus were the first out on tarmac of Pau-Arnos. Azcona had a better start and was defending heavily to cross the finish line first quite close ahead of the Veloster.
Next up, Oliver Webb and John Filippi were to face-off. Both made a good start, but Filippi managed to get up to first place. In the uphill section towards the chicane, Webb attemped an overtake and managed to get it done. French racer then could not catch the Giulia, which passed the chequered flag first.
Luca Filippi and Daniel Nagy were the last two competitors from Pool A to go head-to-head in Round 1. The Italian made a better start and pulled away from the Hungarian racer and race positions didn't change until the finish line.
Round 2 of Pool B started with a race between Matthias Ekstrom and Jordi Gene. Gene let Ekstrom pass and take the lead in the beginning of the race and two Leon e-Racers drove in formation until the end of the race.
Jean-Karl Vernay and Rodrigo Baptista were up next. Hyundai driver did not want to give any space to his Romeo Ferraris competitor and Vernay was first across the finish line.
Final battle of Round 2 saw Philipp Eng go up against Tom Chilton. The Austrian was leading from the start and did not have to fear about the Veloster behind, and won his first battle of the weekend.
Round 3 works similarly to qualifying, with drivers not scoring points and going against the stopwatch to determine starting order for each of the two Superfinals. Drivers go out to the circuit, where after a standing start they drive a single lap, and according to their lap times, they will line up on the grid for the deciding Superfinals.
Round 3 for drivers of Pool A started with Azcona driving his lap first, but he made a mistake while going through turn three and went into a gravel trap, but managed to get back onto the circuit and complete his lap in 1:27.189. Webb utilized this mistake and Romeo Ferraris racer posted a time of 1:26.670.
Luca Filippi, whose Giulia was sliding around throughout the most of the lap was slower than his teammate with 1:26.840s lap. John Filippi could not manage to post a lap quicker that Azcona's, with Hyundai racer going around Pau-Arnos in 1:27.281.
Farfus then drove a really good lap, 1:26.026 where he was almost three tenths faster than Azcona in sector three alone. Last driver to drive his Round 3 lap from Pool A was Nagy, who posted a time of 1:26.591, which got him second position for the Superfinal.
Round 3 for Pool B drivers saw Ekstrom go against the stopwatch in his e-Racer and completed his lap in 1:26.187s. Next driver who lined up on the start-finish straight was Vernay, but could not post a lap time faster than Ekstrom's, completing it in 1:26.678. Gene could not lock-out top two for Cupra and only managed to clock 1:27.284.
Eng was quick again stopping the stopwatch at 1:26.278, which got him second starting position for the Superfinal of Pool B drivers. Fourth fastest time went the way of Baptista, with 1:27.054 in the second Romeo Ferraris Giulia. Chilton was the last to drive his Round 3 lap and posted 1:26.759 which got him fourth place, behind his teammate Vernay.
In the standings, only three drivers have a chance to win the championship. Ekstrom is in the lead with 300 points, Vernay has 266, while Azcona gathered 265 points so far, with 50 points being up for grabs in the Superfinal races.
Starting grid for Superfinal A will be as follows: Farfus and Nagy will line up in the front row, ahead of the two Romeo Ferraris cars of Web and Luca Filippi, while Azcona and John Filippi will be starting in the third row.
Starting grid for Superfinal B will be as follows: Ekstrem and Eng will start from the front row, ahead of two Hyundai Velosters of Vernay and Chilton, while Baptista and Gene will start the race from the back row.
pure etcr final round - Day ONE:
AZCONA AND EKSTROM STRIKE FIRST
First day of the final round of PURE ETCR at Pau-Arnos E-Circuit saw drivers competing in Round 1, with three wins for Cupra and one for Hyundai.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
At the French circuit, Round 1 is driven as a four lap race for each group of three drivers from each pool.
First race of Pool A drivers saw Mikel Azcona, Daniel Nagy and John Filippi take to this 3,03 kilometer long racetrack.
Azcona had quite a slow start, while Nagy used the middle starting position to go on the inside of turn one and pass John Filippi. Spanish racer didn't wait long to catch up to his competitors, and John Filippi got back into first place at the end of the lap, where Nagy made a mistake and left the door open for Azcona to go up to second.
At the start of lap three, Azcona managed to overtake John Filippi in a similar way Nagy did at the start of the race. Azcona won and score his first 15 points of the weekend, ahead of John Filippi and Nagy.
Augusto Farfus, Luca Filippi and Oliver Webb positioned themselves at the startline for the second race of Round 1 for drivers of Pool A. Luca Filippi had the best start and stayed ahead of the others. Farfus had the worst start, but managed to catch up and pass Webb for second place. The Brazilian used the opportunity to overtake Luca Filippi on the last lap and managed to do it, but hit the Italian's Giulia in the process and sent him wide off the circuit.
Webb used this to get up to first, but Farfus immediately lined up another overtake and was back in the lead after the next corner. The Hyundai racer won ahead of two Romeo Ferraris drivers, but was penalized with an eight point deduction.
In pool B, Matthias Ekstrom, Jean-Karl Vernay and Philipp Eng were the first drivers to tackle 13 corners of the circuit beneath the Pyrenees.
All of the drivers made a good start, but Ekstrom wasn't letting the throttle pedal and utilized the inside line of turn one to be in first place. Eng was at the back, but had a better pass through the last corner and managed pass Vernay for second. Ekstrom signed off from the battle, while Vernay managed to get by Eng's Giulia in the last lap.
Last race of the day was the second race for the Pool B drivers, where Jordi Gene got the best start ahead of Tom Chilton and Rodrigo Baptista. The Brazilian racer tried to get to second place at the end of second lap, but Chilton closed the door in the last corner. Doing a similar maneuver, one lap later, Baptista passed the Veloster and finished the race in second place.
final round of pure etcr season 1 to be held in france
First all-electric touring car title winner to be crowned at Pau-Arnos E-Circuit, calendar revision necessary in light of continued uncertainty over Asian travel
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
The world’s first all-electric touring car title winner will be confirmed at Pau-Arnos E-Circuit in France as part of a calendar revision announced today that will set up a thrilling season finale between some of the world’s top racing drivers.
PURE ETCR Race FR at Pau-Arnos E-Circuit replaces the event that had been scheduled to take place at Inje Speedium, South Korea, and will be held on the same weekend as originally planned - October 15-17 - as part of a double-header event with the WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup.
The announcement means PURE ETCR will race in France for the first time and provides a home event for Hyundai Motorsport N drivers Jean-Karl Vernay and John Filippi.
Located 20km west of the city of Pau in southwest France - an area steeped in motorsport history - the Pau-Arnos E-Circuit is one of Europe’s most forward-thinking circuits with regards to electric technology.
A series of upgrades to the 3.030km circuit in 2018 provided pit boxes with permanent electric charging stations as part of its ‘EV-ready’ infrastructure as it aims to become a zero-emission facility in the near future.
Most recently, the circuit has bought the four electric go-karts presented at the Youth Games in Buenos Aires to promote electric motorsport.
The track is currently laying the foundations for a development project around renewable energies and new mobility and has the support of local authorities and major players in both the economy plus energy and environmental research to achieve this.
This development takes place as an identified project inside a global economic approach supported by local and national stakeholders called the Territoire d'Industrie Lacq Pau Tarbes, one of Europe’s most active institutions in energy and environmental research.
Discussions continue regarding plans to hold the event at Inje in 2022, by which time PURE ETCR will have evolved into the FIA eTouring Car World Cup.
Ferrara to make PURE ETCR debut with Romeo Ferraris-M1RA
Luigi Ferrara will become the latest driver to make his PURE ETCR debut with Romeo Ferraris-M1RA when he joins the team for Race HU this weekend at the Hungaroring, substituting for Oliver Webb, who is competing at 24h of Le Mans
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
A champion in both his national Formula 3 and Porsche Carrera Cup series, Ferrara made his touring car debut in the Superstars International Series, in which his rivals included the Romeo Ferraris-M1RA Team Principal Michela Cerruti and Technical Director Mario Ferraris.
A regular winner in both Superstars and the Italian GT Championship, Ferrara raced the Romeo Ferraris-built Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR in the WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup in 2018 and has most recently competed in Euro NASCAR.
Ferrara, who has had a one-day test at Varano as preparation for the event - joins Romeo Ferraris-M1RA regulars Luca Filippi and Rodrigo Baptista, plus Philipp Eng - who made a sensational debut in Copenhagen last time out to claim King of the Weekend status.
Luigi Ferrara said: “I’m really happy to join Romeo Ferraris-M1RA for PURE ETCR Race HU. I wish to thank Michela [Cerruti - Team Principal] and Mario [Ferraris - Technical Director] for this chance and I hope to reward their trust with great performances on track. I know the team well as I raced already in the 2018 FIA WTCR season’s finale; the same year I fought for the TCR Italy title with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR by Romeo Ferraris. The Hungaroring is a nice track and it will be fun to drive it with the Giulia ETCR by Romeo Ferraris. I had the chance to test the car during one day at Varano, and the feeling was great. High temperatures will be an important factor to consider, but let’s make it”.
PURE ETCR DENMARK Round - Day two: eng wins it all on debut!
With a Romeo Ferraris one-two to close out the Copenhagen weekend, it was the debutant, Philipp Eng, who scored the most points ahead of his teammate Luca Filippi and the championship leader, Matthias Ekstrom.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
Day two of PURE ETCR outings in Denmark's capital, were the Time-Trial Round 3 the Super Final races of both driver pools. Final race is worth 50 points, second placed driver scores 42, while the third scores 35. Final three positions score 27, 20 and 15 points.
The Time-Trial Round 3 sees Drivers going against the stopwatch in one standing start lap, in order to form the starting grid for the Super Final races of both pools of drivers.
Jean-Karl Vernay and his Veloster were the first to take to the circuit, and the French racer clocked a lap of 1:12.104, but Matthias Ekstrom was faster around the Bellahoj park circuit with the time 1:11.042 in his Leon E-Racer. Oliver Webb gave his all in his Giulia but got only provisional second fastest time 1:11.976. Better laptime came from his teammate, Luca Filippi - 1:11.429.
Cupra's Daniel Nagy completed his timed lap with the slowest time up to that point - 1:12.405, slotting in 5th place, but remained there after Hyundai's John Filippi posted a laptime of 1:12.981.
Augusto Farfus was the first of Pool B drivers to take to the circuit in the Time Trial Round 3. Hyundai racer clocked a laptime of 1:12.038. Mikel Azcona looked quicker in his Cupra in sector two, but only managed 1:12.208. In his first duel against the stopwatch in PURE ETCR, Philipp Eng excelled, and with fastest time in sectors two and three, posted a laptime of 1:11.203.
His teammate, Rodrigo Baptista, was the slowest in Pool B up to that point, with the time 1:12.631. Jordi Gene drove a fast lap to get into provisional second place, with 1:11.452, which was beaten by Tom Chilton, who was the last to post his time in Round 3. British racer clocked 1:11.317.
Ekstrom started the Super Final of Pool A from pole-position, ahead of two Giulias of Filippi and Webb. Vernay started the race from fourth, ahead of the other Cupra of Nagy and Hyundai teammate, John Filippi. Ekstrom got the best start ahead of Luca Filippi, Vernay and Webb. Drivers raced each other in pairs, and Luca Filippi got between Ekstrom's Cupra and the wall in the last corner, making contact with both, and crossed the finish line 0.118s ahead of the 3-time DTM Champion. Nagy and John Filippi completed the race in 5th and 6th.
The debutant, Eng, started the second Super Final race in 1st place, ahead of the Hyundai of Tom Chilton and the Leon E-Racer of Gene. Chilton's teammate Farfus started from P4, ahead of the second Cupra of Azcona and the other Giulia of Rodrigo Baptista. Eng was leading after turn one, with Chilton and Gene right behind him. Farfus had a terrible start and fell to the back of the pack. Chilton suffered a rear-right tire puncture and he also ended up at the back, with Eng winning, almost two seconds ahead of Gene and Azcona.
At the end of the third PURE ETCR event, Ekstrom is leading the championship with 210 points ahead of Vernay who has 186 and Gene who scored 167 points so far. Rodrigo Baptista is the best Romeo Ferraris driver with 149 points.
In the manufacturers standings, Cupra is in the lead with 396 points, ahead of Romeo Ferraris who have 350 points to their name and Hyundai with 342 points.
Next Pure ETCR race will take place at Hungaroring, from 20th to 22nd of August.
PURE ETCR DENMARK Round - Day ONE: FARFUS AND VERNAY ON TOP
First venture of PURE ETCR onto a street circuit saw Hyundai drivers leading in their respective Pools, ahead of their rivals from Cupra.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
Day one of competing at Copenhagen's Bellahoj Park consisted from Rounds 1 and 2 of competition for the drivers of both Poll A and Pool B.
Round 1 consisted of two four lap races per Pool, in which three drivers participated. The winner scores 15 points, second placed driver 10, while the third placed driver scored 4 points.
Drivers of Pool A were the first to take to the circuit. John Filippi of Hyundai, Daniel Nagy of Cupra and Oliver Webb of Romeo Ferraris started the first race. Drivers' opinion was that the inside starting position, which was third position was the best to start the race from, and that position was occupied by Webb.
British racer utilized his starting position best, pulled away from his followers, with Filippi attempting an overtake for the second, but Nagy managed to defend. With a photo-finish, Hyundai racer crossed the line third, while Webb won.
Luca Filippi (Romeo Ferraris), Jean-Karl Vernay (Hyundai) and Matthias Ekstrom (Cupra) went head-to-head in the second race of Pool A drivers in Round 1. Despite having the best starting position, Ekstrom had a slow start, with Luca Filippi getting to first place. Italian racer clipped the starting gate with the fender of his rear left wheel and the gate didn't remove itself from the circuit, so the race was stopped during lap one.
Restart was done without the starting gates, where now Luca Filippi had a slow start, while Jean-Karl Vernay got ahead of Ekstrom. First drops of rain were spotted in the second corner, but Vernay completed the race in first place, with Ekstrom and Luca Filippi behind.
Round 1 races for drivers from Pool B were delayed because of the heavier rain and repaires being done to the starting gates. The gate couldn't be fixed, and once it was possible, the race started with a regular standing start. Augusto Farfus made a great start in his Veloster, with the Giulia of Rodrigo Baptista and the Leon E-Racer of Jordi Gene behind him. The race finished in the same order the drivers lined up after the first corner.
Philipp Eng scored his first win in his debut race with Romeo Ferraris, ahead of the Cupra of Mikel Azcona and Hyundai's Tom Chilton, who started from third position. His Veloster was fixed from hitting the wall and suffering damage to the front after John Filippi lost control in the chicane during the additional free practice session.
Round 2 for both Pools consists of three races of two drivers per Pool, with the winner getting 12 points, and the second placed driver collecting 6 points. First duel of Pool A drivers went the way of Vernay who finished ahead of Webb. In race 2, Ekstrom scored a pretty straight-forward win against his team-mate Nagy.
Third battle between Pool A drivers was the one with two Filippis. Both Luca and John made a good start, but it was the Romeo Ferraris racer who utilized his inside starting position to go ahead in the first corner and stayed there. Two ex-BMW DTM drivers went head to head in race 1 of Pool B in Round 2 - Farfus and Eng were fighting throughout the whole race, with the Giulia being at the back bumper of the Veloster, but it was the Brazilian who went across the finish-line first.
Final two races of the day were won by the Cupra racers, with Azcona beating the Romeo Ferraris driver, Baptista. Jordi Gene won against Hyundai's Chilton, with drivers attempting to go through the first corner side-by-side, but Gene had the advantage of the inside line. British racer made one last attempt in the final couple of meters but wasn't close enough.
Standings - Pool A
Jean-Karl Vernay - Hyundai - 27 points
Matthias Estrom - Cupra - 22 points
Oli Webb - Romeo Ferraris - 21 point
Luca Filippi - Romeo Ferraris - 16 points
Daniel Nagy - Cupra - 16 points
John Filippi - Hyundai - 10 points
Standings - Pool B
Augusto Farfus - Hyundai - 27 points
Mikel Azcona - Cupra - 22 points
Philipp Eng - Romeo Ferraris - 21 point
Jordi Gene - Cupra - 16 points
Rodrigo Baptista - Romeo Ferraris - 16 points
Tom Chilton - Hyundai - 10 points
Philipp Eng to debut in ETCR IN Denmark with Romeo Ferraris
Decorated GT racer becomes first Austrian to race in PURE ETCR, and replaces Stefano Coletti behind the wheel of a Romeo Ferraris-M1RA Giulia ETCR
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
GT racing star Philipp Eng will become the first Austrian to race in PURE ETCR when he makes his series debut at Race DK on the streets of Copenhagen next weekend.
The 31 year-old from Salzburg will race the Romeo Ferraris-M1RA Giulia ETCR in place of Stefan Coletti for the rest of the season.
Eng has been mastering racetracks since making his car racing debut, aged 16, in 2006. He dominated the Formula BMW World Finals in 2007 and was also a race winner in FIA Formula Two in 2009-10.
He switched to sportscar racing in 2011, taking the Porsche Supercup crown plus two domestic titles in Germany in similar machinery. Signed as a factory BMW driver, he then graduated to endurance racing, where his biggest successes have come.
A two-time outright winner of the Spa 24 Hours, Eng has also taken class victories at the Daytona and Nurburgring 24 Hours and was on overall pole position for the latter event this year.
A DTM race winner, Eng has also amassed experience of electric racing cars in his role as reserve driver for BMW i Andretti Motorsport in Formula E.
PURE ETCR Race DK, held on the Bellahøj Park street circuit as part of the Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix, will be the third event of the inaugural season of the world’s first all-electric, multi-brand touring car series.
Philipp Eng said: “I am really looking forward to racing with the Giulia ETCR by Romeo Ferraris in PURE ETCR. The car looks amazing and I can’t wait to drive it for the first time, to test it and to get prepared for our first event together in Copenhagen. I’m very excited to race in this new series and I’m sure it will be a successful experience for both sides. I’ll do my best for the team and I can’t wait to be on track. I want to thank Michela [Cerruti] for the trust in me, as well BMW M Motorsport for giving me the chance to race in this championship”.
Michela Cerruti, Romeo Ferraris Operations Manager, said: “I am delighted to welcome Philipp Eng to our team for the PURE ETCR project. He is a racer that I have valued highly since we were both racing for BMW and I am sure he will contribute a lot to our project. We don't have much time before Copenhagen to introduce him to the car, but the fact that the Danish circuit will be new for everyone will certainly level the playing field.”
PURE ETCR spain Round - Day three: MOST POINTS FOR EKSTROM
Cupra's representative Matthias Ekstrom won the final race of Pool B, while Farfus triumphed in the final race of Pool A, with Azcona finishing the weekend in the gravel
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
Last two PURE ETCR outings on Aragon, were the final races of both driver pools. Final race is worth 50 points, second placed driver scores 42, while the third scores 35. Final three positions score 27, 20 and 15 points.
Pool A drivers were first to go on the circuit. Mikel Azcona was leading from pole-position, but couldn't build a gap to Farfus, who was close behind, and was putting pressure onto the Cupra racer. Azcona was defending aggressively, and was squeezing Farfus close to the pit wall, but the Hyundai driver ended up getting into the lead.
Azcona later managed to get back into first place, until Farfus, while trying to overtake him, pushed the Cupra into the gravel. Coletti was next to go against Farfus, but Gene was also coming in. This time, it was the Giulia that ended up in the gravel, while Gene barely managed to finish the race in third place without the front left bumper. The other Romeo Ferraris driver, Rodrigo Baptista, crossed the finish line in second place.
Vernay was leading only for the duration of the first lap of the Pool B race, until he was passed by Matthias Ekstrom in another duel of Veloster and the E-racer. Swedish driver was then firmly in the lead, with Webb going up to third place after showing a masterclass of power-up usage. This is his best result in Pure ETCR, while his teammate, Luca Filippi didn't start the race because of the technical problem with power connectors.
After the completion of both races, Ekstrom is leading the championship with 146 points ahead of Vernay who has 124 and Gene who scored 109 points so far. Rodrigo Baptista is the best Romeo Ferraris driver with 106 points.
In the manufacturers standings, Cupra is in the lead with 274 points, ahead of Hyundai with 233 points, and Romeo Ferraris who have 213 points to their name.
Next Pure ETCR race will take place in Copenhagen, from 6th to 8th of august.
PURE ETCR spain Round - Day two: Poles for Azcona and Vernay
During the second day of PURE ETCR competition at the Spanish circuit, drivers tackled rounds 2 and 3, and most points were scored by Cupra racers Mikel Azcona and Matthias Ekstrom.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
In round two, three races are driven per pool of drivers, with two drivers competing in each race. Winner of the race scores 12 points, while the second placed driver scores 6 points.
First race of round two saw Mikel Azcona and Rodrigo Baptista go against each other. The Spanish racer was leading from the start, and the Romeo Ferraris representative could not catch the E-Racer.
August Farfus was also leading for most of the race in his duel with Jordi Gene. Gene had one opportunity to go past the Brazilian Hyundai racer, but misjudged his braking into turn 1 on lap 4, so Farfus crossed the line first.
Stefano Coletti and Tom Chilton were competing in the last race of Poll A round two. The Romeo Ferraris driver was leading until the second-to-last lap, when he made a mistake on braking and gave first place to his competitor. Coletti was in the lead again at the beginning of the last lap, but Chilton crossed the finish line first.
Round two races of Pool B drivers, started with Matthias Ekstrom taking on John Filippi. Three time DTM champion controlled the race, with Filippi attempting one passing maneuver. Ekstrom was first over the line, scoring another win for Cupra.
Jean-Karl Vernay had a technical problem, and didn't show up on the starting gate, so Luca Filippi had a five lap training race in his Giulia.
Final race of round two saw another Cupra-Romeo Ferraris duel, Oli Webb going against Daniel Nagy. Webb was leading until lap three, when Nagy launched his first attack, and took over the lead. With a couple of touches between the E-racer and the Giulia, Webb was back in the lead on the final lap. Nagy attempted another overtake, but he went wide in the hairpin.
In round three, every driver drives a timed lap after a standing start, and uses the maximum power of 500kW. Round three is not worth any points, its role is to setup the starting grid for the final races for both pools of drivers.
Starting round three of Pool A was Mikel Azcona, who drove the fastest lap, being the only driver with a lap under a minuta and 59 seconds - 1:58.514. Farfus couldn't match that, and could only post a time of 1:59.264. Rodrigo Baptista managed to deliver a time of 2:00.138, with Gene also unable to go under two minutes, 2:00.850. Tom Chilton made a lot of mistakes, and his Veloster crossed the line with a recorded laptime of 2:01.928. Coletti also made a mistake, but was quick enough to post the fifth fastest time, 2:01.928.
Ekstrom drove a precise lap, with no mistakes, but could only post a 1:59.638 to start round three for the drivers of Pool B. Luca Filippi managed to beat Ekstrom's time, with a lap of 1:59.250. John Filippi on the other hand, couldn't post a competitive laptime, only managing 2:01.084. Webb made a couple of mistakes but managed to post 1:59.975, which had him provisionally third. With no outing in round two and problems that hampered the Veloster, Vernay drove the best lap of this session to score pole-position for the final race of Pool B, 1:59.196. Nagy was last on the circuit, but could only post the fifth fastest lap, 2:00.343.
Standings - Pool A
Mikel Azcona - Cupra - 27 points
Augusto Farfus - Hyundai - 22 points
Rodrigo Baptista - Romeo Ferraris - 21 point
Jordi Gene - Cupra - 16 points
Tom Chilton - Hyundai - 16 points
Stefano Coletti - Romeo Ferraris- 10 points
Final Race Starting Grid - Pool A: Azcona, Farfus, Baptista, Gene, Coletti, Chilton
Standings - Pool B
Matthias Estrom - Cupra - 27 points
Luca Filippi - Romeo Ferraris - 22 points
John Filippi - Hyundai - 21 point
Oli Webb - Romeo Ferraris - 16 points
Jean-Karl Vernay - Hyundai - 10 points
Daniel Nagy - Cupra - 10 points
Final Race Starting Grid - Pool B: Vernay, Luca Filippi, Ekstrom, Webb, Nagy, John Filippi
PURE ETCR spain Round - Day one: two more wins for cupra
Day one of PURE ETCR competition on Aragon saw only racing of Round 1, where John Filippi scored his first win and the only win for Hyundai, while Azcona and Ekstrom continued where they left off, and brought Cupra one win each.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
Today's racing action featured only racing of Round 1, which saw two races of three drivers for each pool. Winners of Round 1 races scored 15 points, second-placed drivers scored 10, while third place drivers scored 4 points.
Drivers of Pool A were first on the circuit, with Race 1 of Round 1 which saw the Hyundai of Tom Chilton going against the Romeo Ferraris Giulia of Rodrigo Baptista, and the Cupra of Jordi Gene. Baptista made the best start, but quickly fell down behind his competitors.
Using the Power Ups led to a lot of position changes, with Gene using his to steam past his competitors on the main straight, only to lose his lead at the end of the lap along with a contact with Tom Chilton. Bautista didn't spend too much of his Power Up and then used it to his benefit in the last lap to win in a photo-finish ahead of Gene and Chilton.
Augusto Farfus of Hyundai, Stefano Coletti of Romeo Ferraris and Mikel Azcona of Cupra lined up at the starting gates ahead of the second Round 1 race of Pool A. First lap saw them all make a mistake and they went onto the longer configuration instead of the one they were supposed to.
Azcona made a good start to overtake Coletti, who went off with two wheels into the gravel on lap two and fell more behind his competitors. Azcona managed to overtake Farfus on the second to last lap after they drove alongside each other for a couple of corners, and the Spanish racer managed to pull off a gap enough to get him the win at his home circuit.
First race of Round 1 for drivers of Pool B saw Jean-Karl Vernay in his Veloster N go against two Cupra drivers, Matthias Ekstrom and Daniel Nagy. Even though Nagy made the best start, Ekstrom overtook him in lap one for first, with Vernay upping the pace to catch up to the Cupras and then overtake Nagy. The French driver ran out of laps and couldn't get past the three time DTM Champion, who scored the second win for Cupra so far.
John Filippi was the one flying the flag for Hyundai in the last race of the day, and he was racing with two Romeo Ferraris Giulias of Luca Filippi and Oliver Webb. The Giulias bolted of the line, leaving the Hyundai far behind. Luca Filippi lost the lead in lap two, and then lost second at the beginning of lap three with John Filippi utilizing his Power Up. The Frenchman continued with his great drive and passed Webb for first also in lap 3. In the next lap, Luca Filippi managed to overtake his teammate, but couldn't pass John Filippi, who scored his first PURE ETCR win and Hyundai's first win of the day.
PURE ETCR action resumes tomorrow with Rounds 2 & 3. Round 2 head to head races will be as follows:
Race 1: Azcona (Cupra) vs Baptista (Romeo Ferraris)
Race 2: Farfus (Hyundai) vs Gene (Cupra)
Race 3: Coletti (Romeo Ferraris) vs Chilton (Hyundai)
Race 1: Ekstrom (Cupra) vs John Filippi (Hyundai)
Race 2: Vernay (Hyundai) vs Luca Filippi (Romeo Ferraris)
Race 3: Nagy (Cupra) vs Webb (Romeo Ferraris)
PURE ETCR ITALY Round - Day two: Azcona and Cupra charge to win
Mikel Azcona won his Super Final Race from last place on the grid to become the Championship leader, ahead of the Pool B Super Final winner, Jean-Karl Vernay
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
Drivers of PURE ETCR competed on the longer, 3.2 kilometers long layout of Vallelunga. Round 3 was the first session of the day, which served as a qualifying round for the Super Finals. All drivers did a single timed lap with standing starts with the maximum power of their cars, which is 500kW.
Azcona was the first to go out in Round 3, but his rear-left tire sustained a puncture and he retired, which resulted in him starting last in the Super Final of Pool A. Augusto Farfus posted the fastest time in Pool A, 1:26.612, with his brand teammate of Hyundai, Tom Chilton who clocked the second fastest time. Second Cupra of Jordi Gene was third fastest, with two Romeo Ferraris M1RA drivers, Rodrigo Baptista and Stefano Coletti starting 4th and 5th. Coletti's Round 3 lap was deleted because of track limits.
Matthias Ekstrom took over Azcona's Cupra E-Racer but couldn't post a lap-time because it was called into the pits by the Race Direction at the start of Round 3 for the drivers of Pool B. Jean-Karl Vernay was the fastest, with the time of 1:26.805, in front of the Giulia ETCR of Luca Filippi, and the other Hyundai of John Filippi. Oliver Webb and Daniel Nagy were at the tail end of the timings, with Ekstrom going onto the circuit again, with a lap that was more than half a second faster than what Vernay did, but that attempt was deleted as well, so Ekstrom, similarly to his teammate Azcona, started his Super Final at the back of the grid.
In Pool A Super Final Race, Farfus and Chilton remained in front after the start, while Azcona got up to 4th, after Coletti went into the gravel in lap one, and then retired from the race. Chilton got a puncture, and had to retire, which saw Azcona passing Gene, and then going on to pressure Farfus. The Brazilian driver spun heading into the second hairpin and was forced to retire as well. Azcona took over the race lead and won to score another win to get maximum points. Gene was battling with Baptista, where the Romeo Ferraris car passed the Cupra, but, when trying to defend, Baptista went wide and cut the track which resulted in him giving 2nd place back to Gene.
Vernay was leading the Super Final of Pool B after the first corner, and didn't saw any opposition until the chequered flag. Ekstrom got up to 4th, and was then driving behind the battle of John and Luca Filippi, and managed to pass both the Hyundai and Romeo Ferraris car in the space of two corners, but couldn't get close to Vernay. Luca Filippi managed to defend his position to cross the line third, bringing another podium to the Italian Tuner. John Filippi, Oliver Webb and Daniel Nagy completed the race results.
After the first PURE ETCR race weekend, Mikel Azcona is leading the Championship with 77 points, ahead of Jean-Karl Vernay who scored 72, and Matthias Estrom who has 69 points to his name.
PURE ETCR returns to action from 9th of July when the Electric TCR Cars tackle the Motorland Aragon Circuit.
PURE ETCR ITALY Round - Day one: most wins for cupra
Matthias Ekstrom and Mikel Azcona both scored two out of two possible wins each during the first day of electric touring car racing at Vallelunga
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
Drivers of PURE ETCR were competing for the first time today on the Circuit Vallelunga. The competitors were drawn into two pools, A and B, and both pools were racing in two rounds each today.
Round 1 of Pool A saw two three car races. The first one was won by Augusto Farfus in his Veloster N, after contact between Jordi Gene and Rodrigo Baptista, which saw the Spanish Cupra Racer finish the race third, behind the Brazilian driving for M1RA Romeo Ferraris.
Mikel Azcona won the second race of Round 1 for Cupra ahead of another Romeo Ferraris racer, Stefano Coletti and the Hyundai of Tom Chilton, and those race results were used to setup the pairs of Round 2. Winners of Round 1 races scored 15 points, second-placed drivers scored 10, while third place drivers scored 4 points.
In Round 2, first race saw the two Round 1 winners go head to head. Augusto Farfus was behind Mikel Azcona from the start, and the young Spanish racer controled the pace on his way to another win, to end Day One in first place of Pool A.
Second race of Round 2 was a Giulia ETCR face-off, with Coletti and Baptista on the starting line. Similarly to the race before, Coletti made a better start and managed to defend first place to score his and Romeo Ferraris' first win in Vallelunga.
Jordi Gene and Tom Chilton were contesting the last race of Pool A program for today with Chilton being really close at times to the Spanish Veteran, but couldn't get past, which saw another win for the Spanish Brand racing in partnership with Zengo Motorsport. Winning driver in Round 2 scores 12 points, while the second placed driver scores 6.
Attacking the racetrack near Rome in the afternoon were the drivers of Pool B, and their racing consisted from five races as well. First two were, again, three car races counting towards Round 1 points.
Jean-Karl Vernay of Hyundai was contesting two Romeo Ferraris' Giulias of Oli Webb and Luca Filippi. Filippi made the best start and was ahead of his two racing colleagues, with Vernay last. This race was stopped on the half of lap one since one of the starting gates didn't retract and was left on the circuit.
Vernay used this restart to get up to second, after passing Webb on the outside, and he was pressuring Filippi but couldn't get past the Italian racer, who scored his first and a second win for the Alfa Romeo Tuner.
The second race of Round 1 of Pool B was dominated by the Cupra Matthias Ekstrom, who just blitzed the opposition, while the Veloster N of John Filippi was ahead of the Cupra of Daniel Nagy, and was holding up the Hungarian Racer, who managed to overtake the Hyundai on lap 4 out of 7 in the last corner. Nagy was then forced to defend heavily, and went over the line just one tenth ahead of his French competitor.
Next for the drivers of Pool B was Round 2, with three two-car races, and all of them went mostly the same way. Filippi tried to pass Ekstrom on the outside of lap 1, but the Swede defended perfectly to score another win, and go to the top of standing of Pool B.
Jean-Karl Vernay used his starting position on the inside to get to the racing line first and positioned his Veloster N in front of Nagy's Cupra and controlled the race until the chequered flag was waved. Oli Webb did the same to go in front of John Filippi, and went on to win his Round 2 race.
Standings - Pool A
Mikel Azcona - Cupra - 27 points
Stefano Coletti - Romeo Ferraris - 22 points,
Augusto Farfus - Hyundai - 21 point
Jordi Gene - Cupra - 16 points
Rodrigo Baptista - Romeo Ferraris - 16 points
Tom Chilton - Hyundai - 10 points.
Standings - Pool B
Matthias Estrom - Cupra - 27 points
Jean-Karl Vernay - Hyundai - 22 points,
Luca Filippi - Romeo Ferraris - 21 point
Oli Webb - Romeo Ferraris - 16 points
Daniel Nagy - Cupra - 16 points
John Filippi - Hyundai - 10 points.
The PURE ETCR action resumes tomorrow with Round 3 for drivers of both Pools and the Super Finals for both Pools.
PURE ETCR’s world debut set to electrify Vallelunga
A new era of motorsport gets underway this weekend (June 18-20) as the world’s first all-electric multi-brand touring car series, PURE ETCR stages its inaugural event.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
The Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi is the venue, with some of the world’s finest touring car drivers piloting the most powerful touring cars ever built and evoking the spirit of the gladiatorial clashes for which nearby Rome became famous.
The 2021 season is set to comprise four events in Europe and one in Asia as part of an optimised calendar created to minimise the emissions created by long journeys and facilitate a no-air-freight policy throughout the year; further reducing the series’ carbon footprint.
Opened in 1951 and now a firm part of Italy’s past and present motorsport heritage, Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi is named in honour of the Mille Miglia road racer, who was the track’s principal design engineer, and has played host to international and national-level competition over the past half-decade.
In recent years it has become a key electromobility hub for the Italian automotive industry as well as the country’s first ‘smart race track’, with high-capacity chargers installed permanently in the pit garages.
Unusually, PURE ETCR will utilise two different layouts of the circuit this weekend. The 1.7km ‘short’ circuit will be used for Saturday’s Rounds with all subsequent action - including the DHL SuperFinals - held on the 3.2km ‘medium’ layout.
HOW IT WORKS - THE PURE ETCR FORMAT
There is no qualifying in PURE ETCR. After free practice on Friday, a random draw - which fans can watch live on the series’ Facebook page - will determine the rest of the weekend.
Twelve drivers are randomly split into two Pools - A and B - with six drivers in each. Drivers in Pool A and Pool B will be kept separate from each other for the rest of the event. Each car will be shared between two drivers, meaning one of each pair will be placed in Pool A and the other in Pool B. Each Pool is then randomly split into two groups of three cars each, with grid positions also determined at this stage. Once the groups are drawn, one driver per pool will be randomly selected to make the ‘Drivers’ Choice’, giving them the option to swap their grid position with a rival.
One team representative will then be randomly selected to win the ‘Golden Ticket’. This will give them the option to swap either one of their drivers’ grid positions or switch their designated pool with their co-driver.
Two Battles per pool are held with three cars taking part in each. Battles last no more than 15 minutes. 300kW constant power is available to each driver, plus a ‘Power-up’ boost of between 20 and 60 seconds, taking their car to the maximum 500kW. Power-up can be used as an overtaking aid and is not available to the race leader.
Three Battles are held per pool, each comprising two cars. Round 1 winners face each other, second faces second and third face third for a maximum of 12 minutes. This time 450kW constant power is available with no Power-up.
A solo time trial with the maximum 500kW available for the duration. This will last one or two laps, dependent on circuit length, with the fastest driver in each Pool qualifying on pole position for their DHL SuperFinal.
One per pool, with six cars per battle and every driver still in with a chance of becoming King or Queen of the Weekend. SuperFinals are up to 20 minutes duration and feature all cars on 300kW constant power with Power-up taking them to 500kW.
Points are awarded as follows:
Round 1: 15-10-4 for the first three finishers
Round 2: 12-6 for the first two finishers
Round 3: No points awarded
Round 4: 50-42-35-27-20-15 for the first six finishers
TIMETABLE (all times CET)
Friday June 18
Free Practice 1: 14h00
Free Practice 2: 16h30
The Draw: 21h00
Saturday June 19
Round 1 (Pool A): 10h00-10h45
Round 2 (Pool A): 12h00-12h45
Round 1 (Pool B): 14h30-15h15
Round 2 (Pool B): 16h30-17h25
Sunday June 20
Round 3 (Pool A): 08h55-09h25
Round 3 (Pool B): 11h00-11h30
DHL SuperFinal A (Pool A): 13h10-13h50
DHL SuperFinal B (Pool B): 15h50- 16h45
CONFIRMED PURE ETCR DRIVER LINE-UPS
Driver Line-Ups announced so far see drivers with diverse racing experiences
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
CUPRA have finalised their line-up for the inaugural season of PURE ETCR by announcing today that WTCR race winner Mikel Azcona will join Mattias Ekström and Jordi Gene at the team. The 24-year-old Spaniard has been a race-winner in the WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup for the past two seasons in CUPRA machinery, proving himself among the top saloon-car racers in the world.
His addition means that all three members of the CUPRA Racing squad have won major touring car titles; his 2018 TCR Europe crown adding to Ekström’s pair of DTM titles and Gené’s Spanish Touring Car success.
The entry includes one new addition as Hungarian Dániel Nagy completes the line-up at Zengo Motorsport X CUPRA; to race one of the team’s CUPRA e-Racers, starting at Autodromo Vallelunga, Italy, this weekend.
Hungarian Nagy, 23, is both a race winner in TCR Europe and a podium-finisher in the WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup, who is sure to be a popular addition when PURE ETCR races at the Hungaroring in August. He joins CUPRA’s previously-announced trio of touring car champions, Mattias Ekström from Sweden and Spanish duo Mikel Azcona and Jordi Gené.
Another star of international motorsport will line up behind the Starting Gate for the inaugural PURE ETCR season this year as Romeo Ferraris has confirmed Stefano Coletti as its first driver. The 31-year-old Monegasque will race the stunning Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR by Romeo Ferraris in the world’s first all-electric, multi-brand touring car championship, which kicks off in June.
Coletti made an impressive start to his motorsport career, winning races regularly in Formula BMW, Formula Renault and the F3 Euro Series from 2005-09, while also taking a podium finish in the prestigious Masters of Formula 3.
Luca Filippi is set to join PURE ETCR after Romeo Ferraris confirmed the Italian ace will race its Giulia ETCR in the world’s first all-electric, multi-brand touring car series this year. The 35-year-old Italian is the second driver announced for the programme, and drove the Giulia ETCR by Romeo Ferraris for the first time in testing at Autodromo Vallelunga in late March.
Filippi made his race debut in 2003 and quickly made a name for himself, winning the Formula 3000 Italia title two years later and securing a Formula 1 testing role with Honda in 2008. After claiming the runner-up spot in the GP2 Asia Series in 2009-10, and then in the main series in 2011, he spent four years in North America in IndyCar, in which he was a podium-finisher. He spent a season gaining experience of electric motorsport in Formula E before switching to touring cars in 2019, becoming a podium finisher and pole-position qualifier in TCR Europe.
Romeo Ferraris is the third manufacturer entered for season one of PURE ETCR, running the Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR by Romeo Ferraris in alliance with M1RA. The beast has been developed independently at the Romeo Ferraris organisation’s Opera base near Milan. Completing their line-up are Le Mans 24 Hours class podium finishers Oli Webb (Great Britain) and Rodrigo Baptista (Brazil).
Augusto Farfus, Jean-Karl Vernay, Tom Chilton and John Filippi, who can boast 11 championship titles and more than 50 major touring car victories between them, will drive the brand-new Hyundai Veloster N ETCR in the five-round series, which begins at Vallelunga, Italy on June 18-20.
Farfus has led development of the Veloster N ETCR since being announced as its Test and Development Driver in 2020. The 37-year-old Brazilian competed for Hyundai in the WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup in 2019 and was previously a 15-time race winner in the FIA World Touring Car Championship that pre-dated it. A versatile racer, Farfus is the reigning Intercontinental GT Challenge Champion, a former winner of the FIA GT World Cup, a two-time GTLM victor at the 24 Hours of Daytona and has achieved outright success in the Nürburgring and Dubai 24 Hours races, as well as taking the 2002 Euroseries 3000 crown.
Frenchman Vernay, 34, joined Farfus as an ETCR Test Driver earlier this year and can boast TCR International and Benelux titles to his name as well as five WTCR race wins and titles Indy Lights in the USA and the Porsche Carrera Cup France.
Briton Tom Chilton, 36, has spent almost his entire career in touring cars and won the WTCC Trophy for non-factory teams and drivers in 2017 to add to his British Touring Car Independents title from 2010. He’s also a race winner in the European and American Le Mans Series.
Filippi, meanwhile, was last year’s TCR Europe runner-up in a Hyundai, narrowly missing out on the title in a dramatic final-race shoot-out. The 26-year-old Frenchman, who has more than 160 FIA World Touring Car race starts to his name, was also runner-up in the 2014 WTCC TC2 category.
PURE ETCR TESTING RECAP
Ahead of the first ever PURE ETCR season, the manufacturers are had at work testing at Autodromo Vallelunga
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
+ 23 March 2021: PURE ETCR-bound racecar debuts at Autodromo Vallelunga - Stefano Coletti has first taste of 500kW all-electric touring car. The Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR by Romeo Ferraris, which will compete in PURE ETCR this year, has completed its first laps with a full day of testing at Autodromo Valleluga Piero Taruffi in Italy. The Giulia, which has been built by Romeo Ferraris at its Opera headquarters near Milan, went through the ETCR battery integration kit during the weekend and was shaken down in the Vallelunga paddock by Technical Director Mario Ferraris on Monday.
+ 7 May 2021: PURE ETCR’s preparations for the world’s first all-electric, multi-brand touring car series took a major step forwards this week with the successful completion of a pre-season ‘stress test’ at Autodromo Vallelunga, Italy. The test, which took place May 5th, simulated key elements of a PURE ETCR race weekend, including ‘Battle’ races in which competitors run flat-out without the need to save energy, recharging procedures and other operational elements.
Race simulations were completed using the innovative 24m-wide Starting Gate, at which every PURE ETCR Battle will commence in place of traditional starting lights, and the series’ push-to-pass system was also trialled in a multi-car scenario.The 500kW ETCR powertrain used by all competing cars created a mighty spectacle as representatives from all three manufacturers trialled the Battle format in which the most powerful touring cars ever built (with the equivalent of 670bhp) will compete, free from the constraints of driving to save energy.
The Energy Station - the heart of the PURE ETCR paddock - made its operational debut with cars being recharged in situ throughout the day via the structure combining hydrogen generators and chargers. There was a thorough work-out through the timing and procedural systems and a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the Eurosport Events TV team that will produce the International feed for the series, to be distributed worldwide throughout 2021 - including the draw for the Battle groups.
Hyundai Motorsport was represented by race drivers Augusto Farfus, Jean-Karl Vernay and John Filippi while Stefano Coletti took part for Romeo Ferraris. CUPRA Racing split driving duties between Mattias Ekström, Jordi Gené and Mikel Azcona.
PURE ETCR’s inaugural event will take place at Vallelunga on June 18-20.
PURE ETCR to upgrade to FIA eTouring Car World Cup from 2022
Eurosport Events-promoted series recognised as FIA World Cup from next year
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
Eurosport Events is excited to announce that the PURE ETCR series has been chosen by global motorsport’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l ’Automobile (FIA), to become the first ever electric touring car World Cup from 2022.
After a tender process, a long-term agreement has been signed between Eurosport Events and the FIA with a wide-ranging commitment to promote the brand-new FIA eTouring Car World Cup at the highest level of international competition.
PURE ETCR’s debut season kicks off in June 2021 with a five-round calendar comprising four events in Europe and one in Asia. Its evolution into the FIA eTouring Car World Cup for 2022 will further enhance its position as the leading international electric touring car series, as well as awarding world titles for Drivers and Manufacturers.
Promoter Eurosport Events and the FIA share a joint vision of providing a global platform for manufacturers to showcase racing versions of their latest electric production vehicles in an intense competitive on-track environment.
Eurosport Events has a long and storied history of promoting global-level motorsport. It promoted the FIA World Touring Car Championship from 2005-17 and, since 2018, its successor, the WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup - the contract for which was recently renewed with the FIA until the end of 2025.
Throughout this time it has consistently enhanced the global visibility of elite touring car racing while evolving the delivery of compelling content on and off-track in a changing society and enabling a new generation of touring car fans to feel more connected to exhilarating door-to-door racing than ever before.
Created by Eurosport Events around WSC’s ETCR technical concept, PURE ETCR pits the most powerful touring cars ever built against one another in a series of intense on-track Battles as part of a thrilling knock-out contest across a mix of classic racetracks and urban street circuits.
With world-first circuit-racing innovations such as the giant Starting Gate and the fan-friendly Energy Station, as well as a commitment to furthering the promotion of electromobility and to banish the use of air freight, PURE ETCR has already identified many ways of blending a spectacular show with a vital sustainability message.
Confirmed for Season One of PURE ETCR are Hyundai Motorsport with the Veloster N ETCR, CUPRA Racing with the e-Racer and the Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR by Romeo Ferraris.
Hungaroring added to 2021 PURE ETCR calendar
Budapest track replaces Circuit Zolder on 2021 calendar
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
The stars of PURE ETCR, the world’s first all-electric, multi-brand touring car series, will battle for glory at the Hungaroring this summer as part of a new event added to the inaugural calendar.
PURE ETCR will join forces with the WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup on August 21-22 to create a thrilling double-header event that will be one of the highlights of the touring car season.
Fans in Hungary can now experience the door-to-door action that has made touring-car racing so popular in both its traditional style as well as with PURE ETCR’s all-new Battle format, in which cars burst out of the Starting Gate and engage in a 500kW (670bhp) head-to-head fight.
The Hungaroring takes the place of Circuit Zolder, Belgium, which had been scheduled to host the second round of the series on July 2-4.
New logistical challenges surrounding PURE ETCR’s presence as part of the traditional 24 Hours of Zolder, a fully-packed race weekend, has made racing in Belgium impossible, despite the best efforts of the series and circuit staff to find a solution.
PURE ETCR’s inaugural season will be broadcast in Hungary on Sport TV, following the announcement of a major deal late last year. Xavier Gavory, PURE ETCR Series Director, had this to say about the change:
“Unfortunately it became extremely complicated to run our planned event at Zolder on July 2-4, so the task was to find an alternative venue. Hungarian race fans are some of the most passionate in the world, especially for touring cars. PURE ETCR will give them a totally different sporting experience, with our revolutionary racing format and the knockout competition. Touring car fans love to see non-stop, wheel-to-wheel action and with PURE ETCR, that’s exactly what they’ll get."
"To leave Zolder was a difficult decision. But in Hungary, as Eurosport Events, we’ve promoted series that have raced at the Hungaroring since 2011, so we have a fantastic relationship with the management team there. As promoter of both WTCR and PURE ETCR, it becomes easier to adapt the event format and the paddock so that both series get exactly what they need. Zolder, as a venue, is 100 per cent suitable. It’s a fantastic facility with a great history as well as one that’s pushing hard in areas like sustainability that make it completely aligned with our targets at PURE ETCR. But a big challenge has arisen in terms of the logistics and procedures around the July 2-4 weekend, which has created a few complications.”
“The plan all along had been to race as part of the Zolder 24 Hours weekend, which was absolutely fine when we set our calendar out in Februray. However, since then, pre-season testing has shown that - as an all-new series using new technology - we need to have as much flexibility as possible with both the track schedule and the paddock environment. The team at Zolder have been incredibly accommodating to our requests, but with the plans for the 24 Hours already at an advanced stage, it’s just too complicated for them to allow us to do everything we need. Therefore we’ve had to make the tough decision to find an alternative venue and event that suits our needs a bit better. We would love that. It’s a great circuit and we retain an excellent working relationship with the people there. It’s hugely unfortunate we couldn’t find a way of remaining as part of the July 2-4 event, and I would like to thank the team there for all they did to try and accommodate us.”
JEAN-KARL VERNAY SWITCHES TO HYUNDAI ETCR PROGRAMME
TCR International Series Champion takes on test and development duties for the Veloster N ETCR
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
French racing driver Jean-Karl Vernay will be an official Customer Racing driver on Veloster N ETCR program, sharing test and improvement duties with Augusto Farfus.
The development work on Hyundai's first-ever electric race car continues to gather momentum. The Veloster N ETCR was the first car to be fitted with the final specification e-kit in the summer of 2020, and since then has embarked on an extensive testing program. The addition of Jean-Karl to the test team alongside Augusto will ensure that the car and its e-kit will fulfil their high-performance potential.
Team Principal Andrea said: “Jean-Karl is the perfect fit. He has a lot of experience, and success, in TCR racing and throughout the motorsport world. From the first tests in the next weeks, his feedback will help our engineers and those from the ETCR suppliers to continue their work as everything builds towards the first competitive events.”
The Frenchman may be a new face to the Hyundai team, but he is no stranger to TCR-style racing. Following a glittering career in junior single-seaters, he made the switch to Touring Cars in 2016. He found immediate success; after taking three wins, the Frenchman was crowned champion in his first season in the TCR International Series. In 2017, Jean-Karl moved to the FIA WTCR grid, where he has been a regular contender for race victories.
Jean-Karl Vernay is set to take his first outing at the wheel of the Veloster N ETCR in the coming weeks, with full details of his 2021 program with Hyundai's PURE ETCR squad to be announced at a later date. This is what he had to say: “When I was presented with the opportunity, it was one I couldn’t miss. I know Augusto and the engineers have already put a lot of work into the chassis and e-kit components. I’m looking forward to taking advantage of that, but also playing a role myself in the development of the car in the weeks and months to come, so the Veloster N ETCR can be just as successful as the team’s previous TCR designs.”
This presents an interesting situation because Vernay was already a part of Romeo Ferraris ETCR program so it will be really interesting to see who will fill-in that seat. Some of the options could be the drivers we shortlisted on our blog.
INAUGURAL PURE ETCR SEASON CALENDAR REVEALED
PURE ETCR, the world’s first all-electric, multi-brand touring car championship, is extremely excited to reveal the provisional calendar for its inaugural race season in 2021.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
A five-round schedule, featuring the most powerful and fastest-accelerating touring cars ever made, will get underway in Europe in June and end in Asia in October, with the world’s best touring car drivers going head-to-head in PURE ETCR’s knockout ‘Battle’ format.
Italy’s Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi has the honour of staging the first event of this new era of touring car racing on June 18-20; a summer date chosen to provide the best chance of avoiding the effects of the global pandemic.
This will be followed by a trip to Circuit Zolder, Belgium, on July 2-4 and then to MotorLand Aragón, Spain, the following weekend to create a festival of touring car racing with the WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup.
The battle for glory continues in Denmark on August 8 as part of the Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix; the temporary Bellahøj Park hosting PURE ETCR’s first street-circuit event.
The series concludes with a first overseas trip and a visit to Inje Speedium, South Korea - again with the WTCR - where the first King or Queen of PURE ETCR will be crowned on October 15-17.
PURE ETCR’s innovative schedule - thanks to a sea freight-only philosophy that is 100 times less harmful to the environment than air travel - ensures that the trip to Asia comes at the end of the season.
It is one of several sustainability commitments underpinning the season; others including an all-weather Goodyear tyre that reduces production and transport levels, and the use of hydrogen generators, ensuring only decarbonised electricity is used in the charging process.
Fans can watch every event live in 75 territories thanks to a comprehensive broadcast agreement with Eurosport, with additional live coverage packages set to be added worldwide ahead of the new season.
PURE ETCR 2021 calendar
June 18-20 - Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi, Italy
July 2-4 - Circuit Zolder, Belgium
July 9-11 - Motorland Aragón, Spain
August 6-8 - Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix, Denmark*
October 15-17 - Inje Speedium, South Korea
*Pending circuit homologation
VELOSTER N ETCR DAYTONA DEMO: Farfus TACKLED the banking at high speed
The ETCR demonstration at Daytona International Speedway turned into a spectacular success that amazed all motorsport insiders who were at the Florida track for the Rolex 24H race weekend.
PHOTO: WSC MEDIA
Hyundai Motorsport's development driver Augusto Farfus drove the Hyundai Veloster N ETCR at high-speed, completing three laps of the 3.6-mile road track, including the iconic 31° banked oval turns just before the start of the season opening round of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
The event, was aimed to promote the ETCR concept in the region and had been set up by IMSA and WSC, with the cooperation of Hyundai Motorsport.
After the demonstration running, a delighted Augusto Farfus said:
“It was a unique experience to drive the Veloster N ETCR on this track that is one of the most iconic of the planet. The car was really fast on the oval, although it has not been designed for racing on the banking, but for short and very intense races. However, today we have proved that an ETCR car can also perform well on a track like this. I was honored and I wish to thank IMSA, WSC and Hyundai Motorsport for giving me this opportunity today.”
WSC president Marcello Lotti commented:
“We are very proud, and to watch the Hyundai Veloster N ETCR running at high-speed on the Daytona oval gave me the shivers. The car was impressively fast and ran without any issues. It has not been easy to organise this demonstration with all the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. But it was definitely worth, because our goal was to show our product and these few laps have already stirred a lot of interest here in the paddock.”
WSC president Marcello Lotti, IMSA president John Doonan and Hyundai Motorsport’s development driver Augusto Farfus took part Friday morning in a zoom press conference at Daytona.
Doonan said: “We are very proud of the partnership with WSC that led to successfully run the TCR class for a fourth season within the Michelin Pilot Challenge. And to be able to show this demonstration of ETCR today at Daytona is very special for IMSA. This initiative aims for showcasing the efficiency of new technologies in motorsport, something that has always been an important mission for all of us. Daytona has always been a place to showcase speed, but today, together with WSC and with the participation of Hyundai Motorsport we are pleased to say that Daytona is the place to show both, speed and efficiency. You take a look at the Hyundai Veloster N ETCR and you realize it is an extraordinary piece of machinery. This is just the first step, because we always want to offer the best platform to the manufacturers.”
The press conference was streamed live and is available for watching here.
DEMO FOR THE HYUNDAI VELOSTER N ETCR AT 24H OF DAYTONA
The Hyundai Veloster N ETCR that will contest the inaugural PURE ETCR season this year will make its first appearance in the USA at next weekend’s 24 Hours of Daytona.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
Hyundai Motorsport’s Test and Development Driver Augusto Farfus will perform a demonstration run on Daytona International Speedway’s sportscar course, featuring the legendary 31-degree banking on the oval section.
Farfus, who will take to the track on Friday, January 29, said: “Being invited to run a demonstration at Daytona International Speedway is a big opportunity to show the Veloster N ETCR to the world.
“Through the testing we’ve already completed, we know it is very capable of putting on a good display and the track at Daytona should let us show both the superb acceleration and the top speed.”
PURE ETCR, which begins later this year, features the most powerful touring cars ever built with a peak power output of 500kW equivalent to 670bhp, all contesting the world’s first all-electric, multi-brand touring car series.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Andrea Adamo added: “The sight of the Veloster N ETCR at pace on the circuit is sure to build interest in the category, and in electric racing in general in a very important automotive and motorsport market. The Daytona track is one of the most famous in the world and the 24 Hours is one of the biggest racing weekends of the year, so we are honoured to have been invited to showcase the car there.”
ETCR WORLD PREMIERE WITH THE VELOSTER N AND GIULIA
PURE ETCR’s all-new starting gate had its World premiere today with a thrilling demonstration event at Motorland Aragón, Spain.
PHOTO: PURE ETCR
The structure, which stretches across the width of the racetrack, will be used instead of traditional starting lights when the world’s first all-electric multi-brand touring car championship kicks off in 2021, was the starting point for the series’ on-track debut today. The gate provides a dramatic starting spot for all PURE ETCR battles. Drivers are drawn randomly into Battle groups at the start of each event and square up against each other in a knock-out format.
Each gate contains an animated LED screen presenting the driver waiting to unleash the power of their car. When the gate opens - after a random amount of time - it’s all about reaction with the fastest driver off the line getting an instant advantage over his rivals. What follows next is a flat-out, 10km Battle with the world’s best touring car drivers battling for every inch of racetrack as they aim to be first across the finish line, with no margin for error and a crucial victory the reward for the fastest competitor.
A simulation was carried out with Hyundai’s brand-new Veloster N ETCR - the first car to be fully integrated with the ETCR technical kit - pitched against the WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup-winning i30 N TCR to showcase the impressive acceleration of the electric machine.
Reigning WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup Champion Norbert Michelisz had the honour of putting the Veloster N ETCR through its paces. His fellow Hyundai WTCR drivers Gabriele Tarquini and Luca Engstler drove the pair of i30 N TCRs in opposition. All three returned to the circuit later for a spectacular sunset showdown, the results of which will be broadcast on November 24.*
Norbert Michelisz said: “It’s really cool sitting there being three-wide with such a small gap between the cars. When the proper Battles start, I think it could be incredible action. I’m excited to see it already. The launch is then amazing too. I think it’s something that fans are going to enjoy watching a lot.”
The stunning new Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR by Romeo Ferraris that will contest the inaugural PURE ETCR season in 2021 has been given its world reveal by the Italian squad. The all-new race car was unveiled at Motorland Aragón, Spain, by Romeo Ferraris Operations Manager Michela Cerruti and driver Jean-Karl Vernay.
The Giulia will race in a magnificent ‘Romeo Ferraris red’ livery that echoes some of the 69 major title successes won in motorsports and powerboat racing by the Milan-based team since its creation in 1959. With an electrifying ‘circuit board’ design that looks towards a future in electric motorsport, the car is sure to be popular with fans in PURE ETCR’s inaugural race season in 2021.
The Giulia is the third car built to WSC’s ETCR concept to be revealed, joining the CUPRA e-Racer and the Hyundai Veloster N ETCR. Like its rivals, the Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR by Romeo Ferraris derives its 500kW peak power - the equivalent of 670bhp - from the ETCR powetrain including Williams Advanced Engineering battery, Magelec inverters and gearbox and BrightLoop DC to DC converters.
Michela Cerruti, Romeo Ferraris Operations Manager, said: “We are very happy to be launching this new project, stemming from the hard work initiated one year ago, when we decided to embark on this new journey that marks our debut in the world of electric car racing. Aragón will be an important event for us because we will officially launch this new programme, which adds to the many that are being carried on by Romeo Ferraris, like the Fat Five, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR, and the addition of Morgan to our portfolio of street-car brands. All these projects confirm the growth of our company and our confidence in taking up new challenges despite the difficulties faced in a difficult year such as 2020."
JEAN-KARL VERNAY TO RACE IN PURE ETCR WITH ROMEO FERRARIS
Global touring car star Jean-Karl Vernay will race the brand-new Romeo Ferraris-built Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR in PURE ETCR.
The 32-year old from Villeurbanne, France, is the third major touring car champion to confirm participation in PURE ETCR following the news earlier this year of Mattias Ekström and Jordi Gené as CUPRA Racing’s line-up.
Vernay’s signing for the Italian team means he will be one of the drivers behind the wheel of the fastest-accelerating, most powerful generation of touring cars ever produced; their 500kW peak performance figures equal to 680bhp. His car, the all-electric Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR, has been developed at the same facility as the Ferraris-built Giulietta Veloce TCR that the Vernay races in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup for Mulsanne Racing.
The Giulia is in the latter stages of development at the Romeo Ferraris headquarters near Milan, and will be second car to visit Williams Advanced Engineering for its battery integration.
The first full championship, featuring three cars per manufacturer competing across a multi-event season, will take place in 2021.
Jean-Karl Vernay said: “I’m glad to have the possibility to contribute to a unique new project. I want to thank Romeo Ferraris, and in particular Michela Cerruti and Mario Ferraris, who have believed in me and reconfirmed their confidence by entrusting me with an important and exciting task like developing a new car. It is something that I have done in the past, but it will be the first time I will do it for an electric car. This is tremendously attractive and motivating, as is the new innovative PURE ETCR concept developed by Eurosport Events."
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, the PURE ETCR promoter, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jean-Karl Vernay to PURE ETCR. He is a great and charismatic touring car driver and has raced at the front in all kinds of different machinery, from single-seaters at Indianapolis to GT cars at Le Mans. He brings a wealth of experience and ambition to the Romeo Ferraris Alfa Romeo programme. We cannot wait to see Giulia ETCR in action with JK.”
Operations Director Michela Cerruti singled out the ease with which the Frenchman has integrated himself into the Milan-based squad to pay tribute to the contribution he’s made so far.
“Jean-Karl was immediately at ease with our team and the personnel that works from home, who are all directly involved with the design and development of the Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR,” Cerruti said. “I am very happy he’s part of our plans concerning electric racing”
And Vernay, who has never raced an electric car before, said he was thrilled at the prospect of developing the new rear-wheel-drive racecar from scratch.
“I think developing a car is one of my strengths as a driver, so being able to be involved in this programme with Romeo Ferraris – right at the very start – is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time,” he told PURE Talk, presented by Goodyear. “It’s an interesting step forward in my career as this level of responsibility is not something I’ve had before.”
Vernay said the settling-in process had not been at all difficult and that he’d been impressed by the Romeo Ferraris team and its design and engineering processes.
“My fiancee is Italian so I’d already done courses to learn the language and, although it took a long time, I’m now fluent and that’s meant there’s one big barrier removed with the team. Obviously coming from a Belgian team [WRT], it’s very different. Romeo Ferraris is a smaller structure, so I knew they’d need me to be more involved in all the technical things and set-ups. It’s going well so far.”
GOODYEAR NAMED PURE ETCR OFFICIAL TYRE SUPPLIER
One of the most iconic brands in motor racing is a founding series partner and official tyre supplier.
Goodyear is developing a bespoke tyre for PURE ETCR that will incorporate technology from the latest Eagle F1 SuperSport ultra-high performance tyre, to cope with the unique demands of putting 500kW of energy through the rear wheels of the electric Touring Cars.
The Eagle F1 SuperSport’s treaded design means drivers can use the same tyre in wet or dry track conditions. And this means fewer tyres will be taken to each race and aligns perfectly with PURE ETCR’s philosophy of driving change towards ever-cleaner and more sustainable motor racing.
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, the PURE ETCR promoter, said: “Goodyear has a long and incredibly successful history in motorsport and we are very proud it has chosen PURE ETCR for its first international venture into electric motor racing. With a bespoke high-tech, all-weather design, fewer tyres need to be produced for PURE ETCR and this aligns perfectly with our sustainability commitments.”
Goodyear has focused on producing a tyre with a rapid warm-up time, enabling drivers to go flat-out from the start of their Battles, despite the quick-fire nature and short, sharp races designed to allow the limits of the ETCR racing cars to be pushed to the maximum.
Mike Rytokoski, Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, Goodyear Consumer Europe, said that the company’s experience of developing tyres for the electric-vehicle industry would guarantee high-performance, yet durable, products for PURE ETCR.
“High-performance road electric vehicles have very different needs to their petrol or diesel equivalents,” Rytokowski said. “They are heavier and have more torque. Goodyear has developed tyres that can cope with this instant power delivery, providing high grip and traction hand in hand with low rolling resistance to increase range and efficiency. Our partnership with PURE ETCR is much more than just supplying race tyres. Together, we will use racing to develop technology to thrill the next generation of high-performance driver.”
“Electric vehicles have very different needs to their petrol or diesel equivalents,” said Rytokoski. “They are heavier and have more torque, which is delivered immediately. Goodyear has developed tyres that can cope with this instant power delivery, ensuring high grip and traction hand-in-hand with low rolling resistance, which increases range and efficiency.”
Technology derived from the latest EagleF1 SuperSport ultra-high performance tyre will be heavily incorporated into the PURE ETCR rubber.This tyre will be of an all-weather variety, meaning they are suitable for use no matter what track conditions are encountered by competitors.
“We share PURE ETCR’s vision for sustainability,” Rytokoski added. “So we quickly came to the realisation that a single specification of tyre for all weather conditions was ideal. Not only does this avoid the need to ship three or four specifications of tyre across the world, but it gives you a level of durability and performance that enables you to go flat-out from the start to the chequered flag, which will be great news for race fans watching.”
The first official round of PURE ETCR takes place at Austria’s Salzbürgring on July 24-26, while competing manufacturers will face-off for the first time against the clock at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, UK, on July 9-12.
CUPRA UNVEILS THE CUPRA E-RACER FOR THE ETCR
Ekström and Gené to drive the Cupra E-Racer in 2020
CUPRA has unveiled today the final version of the CUPRA e-Racer, the electric Touring Car that has been developed by the Spanish manufacturer in compliance with the ETCR technical regulations.
“CUPRA has always had a pioneering role in motorsport and with the CUPRA e-Racer we are continuing to break new ground. It has been developed specifically to meet ETCR technical regulations and requirements,” said CUPRA Racing director Jaime Puig.
The CUPRA e-Racer provides a combined 680bHp or 500kW of peak power and 960Nm of torque from its single-speed four electric motors and a liquid cooled 65kWh battery pack.
Aerodynamics, performance and design have sculpted the shape of the CUPRA e-Racer, starting with its lower and wider stance, carrying over the road car side air curtains and introducing an innovative bumper and bonnet air flow circulation.
As a pure electric vehicle, the combustion engine grille was eliminated and replaced by an air curtain bonnet, improving aerodynamics performance. The wheel arches have been developed to better extract the air and improve downforce, while the floor underneath helps improve overall aerodynamics. Each part of the car’s design is about air flow.
The Spanish manufacturer has already named its drivers for the 2020 promotional season: Mattias Ekström and Jordi Gené who will be at the wheel of the new CUPRA e-Racer.
The 41-year old Ekström, from Sweden, was crowned national Touring Car champion in 1999 and then became one of DTM’s most successful drivers, claiming the title twice (2004 and 2007) and finishing as runner-up three more times. He also won the Nürburgring 24 Hours and the FIA World Rallycross title in 2016.
“I’m so excited to be a part of this,” he said. “The first event will be at Goodwood and from being at the PURE ETCR launch in Paris, I know it’s a great place to be racing. I’m also very excited to be having Jordi as a team-mate.”
Gené, 49 from Sabadell, Barcelona, was a race winner in major Formula 3 and Formula 3000 competition before switching to touring cars and becoming Spanish champion in 1996. A class winner at the Le Mans 24 Hours, Gené was a race winner in the FIA World Touring Car Championship with SEAT from 2005 to 2010, and then was a title contender in the inaugural season of the TCR International Series in 2015, eventually finishing third in the standings with three race wins.
Volkswagen cancels TCR programme to focus on electrification
Volkswagen has announced that the German manufacturer turning its focus to electric mobility.
Also, Volkswagen has announced that a successor for the current Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR will not be offered.
The announcement comes less than a week after Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets confirmed that the new generation Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR was undergoing testing.
As part of a move towards fully electric racing cars, Volkwagen will no longer run any factory-backed programmes using internal combustion engines, whilst customer programmes will also be electrified.
That means the replacement for the current Golf GTI TCR will not take to the track, with production of the existing car ending later this year.
“Volkswagen Motorsport’s customer sport programme will be electrified,” a statement from Volkswagen read. “The first stage will involve different disciplines, platforms and vehicle types being examined and evaluated.“
Parallel to this, the production of the Golf GTI TCR for the racetrack will expire at the end of 2019, and a successor based on the new generation will not be offered.
“Customer service and spare parts supply will be guaranteed in the long term.”
In an exclusive interview, Volkswagen have confirmed that the German marque could be the next to enter ETCR, currently evaluating a potential programme in the series.
“We are waiting for the rules, because they are still not really clear,” said Volkswagen technical director François-Xavier Demaison.
“For sure, we are looking at what is possible. The marketing project is also important; we are here to support our marketing. It’s a complete package.”
Demaison went on to confirm that a potential ETCR project would most likely be based around the ID.3, Volkswagen’s newly-launched all-electric car.
“We’ve started to look at what we could do with our electric car, which is more a family car than really a racer at the moment,” the Frenchman explained.
“We are looking at the first car we will present, which is the ID.3. It’s an electric design so it is quite a high car because there’s a full floor battery, so it increases the height of the car. That increases the frontal section and for the straightline [speed] that’s not perfect. That has some impact that we will need to look at.”
Volkswagen announced earlier this year that it is expecting to build 22 million electric vehicles in the next decade, launching nearly 70 electric models.
THE WTCR DRIVERS TALK ABOUT ETCR
Drivers of World Touring Car Cup were asked to share their opinion about the new ETCR concept
During 2019 World Touring Car Cup Hungaroring Round, we had a chance to hear some opinions about ETCR from the WTCR drivers.
Néstor Girolami, Honda driver: "To be honest, I don’t know what is going on for the next season. I’ve heard some comments that a lot of factories are planning on going to the new ETCR, so hopefully Honda as well. I hope so, but I don’t know."
Yann Ehrlacher, Lynk&Co driver: "Of course, you are right. All the factories are interested in electric races because that is the future, whether we like it or not. It is always good to prove that electric cars can go quick on a race track and fight each other, so I’m pretty sure all the brands from this championship will go to electric. I can’t tell you more info about Lynk&Co, but it’s the idea for everybody so I see no reason why we won’t be there somehow."
Gabriele Tarquini, Hyundai driver: “In spite of my age, I had an opportunity to move to another brand. I was flattered but declined. The relationship with Hyundai was bound to continue. I’m proud to be a member of the Hyundai racing family and will do my best to help them to win again. I dream this will mean I will be involved in the ETCR programme too. I am fascinated by this new project and if they ask, I’m ready! You know, at my age every new challenge is a boost for the motivations…”
Pepe Oriola, former Cupra WTCR driver: “I want to fight to become world champion and I’m already working to continue with CUPRA in 2019. I also think that the CUPRA e-Racer is going to be a talking point in the new ETCR. I hope to have the chance to test it next year. Competing in an electrical championship? I’m open to any possibilities in the world of Touring Car and, of course, with electrical powertrains.”
ROMEO FERRARIS UNVEILS THE ALFA ROMEO GIULIA ETCR PROJECT
Romeo Ferraris has announced the launch of the Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR project.
PHOTO: twitter (ROMEO FERRARIS)
The company has been involved for more than five years in the design and production of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR, which has become a race winner in every national and international championship in which it took part, including the TCR International Series and FIA WTCR.
Following the announcement of the new ETCR series, Romeo Ferraris decided to embrace the new philosophy while remaining faithful to the Alfa Romeo brand, and so elected to design and develop the Giulia ETCR. The project will bring the Giulia name back to motor racing, fifty years after the Giulia Ti Super made its racing debut in 1962.
Romeo Ferraris has been successful in motor racing since 1965, and by engaging in the ‘electric era’, it now takes up a new challenge, which marks its first venture into the world of alternative energies, after having reached the highest standards in engineering and performance with thermal engines. For this project, Romeo Ferraris will benefit from the support of Hexathron Racing System as technical consultant.
Michela Cerruti, Romeo Ferraris Operations Manager said: “After giving the Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR the best results that could be achieved by an independently-run programme such as ours, we are taking a brave dive into the new ETCR series concept. We believe that electric is the obvious choice for the future, not only for auto mobility but also for motor racing. Our engineers are already at work and we are starting this journey later than the big carmakers that have already been engaged in electric racing for some time, with way more resources than a private constructor like us. Regardless of all that, we will do our utmost to keep our reputation high, as we have always done so far.”
Marcello Lotti, president of WSC Group that has launched the ETCR commented: “Very few brands in motorsport history have such great tradition and appeal as Alfa Romeo. We are delighted and proud that Romeo Ferraris has embarked on such an ambitious programme that involves another mythical name like Giulia. The company has proved its expertise and professionalism with the successful Giulietta TCR and I am confident that they will be up to the task in this new demanding undertaking.”
HYUNDAI VELOSTER N ETCR UNVEILing AT FRANKFURT and test IN HUNGARY
Hyundai Motorsport has revealed the Veloster N ETCR, its first-ever electric race car, at the International Motor Show media day in Frankfurt, and later completed two test days at Hugnaroring.
PHOTO: twitter (Autoev)
Based on the road-going Veloster N model, the new car is designed specifically for the new ETCR category, which will make its debut in 2020.
The vehicle capitalises on Hyundai Motorsport’s expertise in Touring Car racing and follows the success of the i30 N TCR and Veloster N TCR packages. Development of the ETCR project mirrors Hyundai’s wider strategy for development of electric road cars.
Designed and built at the company’s Alzenau headquarters, the Veloster N ETCR is fully electric, rear-wheel-drive with a mid-mounted motor, in line with ETCR regulations.
Design work began in November 2018, with the first shakedown of the prototype completed in August 2019. A full testing program will commence later this month, supported by Hyundai Motorsport’s trained and experienced engineers.
Head of Product Division, Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motor Group Thomas Schemera said: “Through our successful Customer Racing division, we have spent many years honing our skills in Touring Car racing, which has resulted in two packages capable of competing for championships around the world. ETCR is the natural next step in our journey, and one that aligns perfectly to Hyundai’s global strategy for electric vehicle production. We have a detailed test program for the Veloster N ETCR, supported by the fully trained and experienced team of engineers at Hyundai Motorsport. The Veloster N ETCR will make an ideal addition to our ongoing commitment to WRC and to Customer Racing through the i20 R5, i30 N TCR and Veloster N TCR.”
Marcello Lotti, president of WSC, the entity than has developed the TCR and ETCR commented: “The Hyundai Veloster N ETCR marks the arrival of a second premiere brand of car manufacturers into this new category that we have launched in the wake of TCR’s global success. And it won’t be the last one! We must have done something good so far if a company like Hyundai has chosen to follow us in this new adventure after having already trusted, successfully, the TCR concept.”
The days at the circuit were trouble-free and allowed the engineers to learn more about the chassis balance on the technical circuit, and to begin to harness the power from the mid-mounted electric motor to maximize performance and efficiency.
The days in Hungary were only the start of an extensive testing program for the coming months.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Director Andrea Adamo said: “The first test for any new project is always a very important milestone, but with the Hyundai Veloster N ETCR it takes on greater significance. It is our first electric race car, and our first chassis to have a mid-mounted motor and rear-wheel-drive. We have shown with the i30 N TCR and Veloster N TCR that we can produce a very strong Touring Car, and we are eager to learn about this new package before the racing starts in 2020. The next few months will be very busy – we essentially have two challenges: develop the chassis, but also work to use the power from the batteries and motors effectively.”
MATTIAS EKSTRÖM IS NAMED CUPRA E-RACER’S OFFICIAL DRIVER
The Swedish racer will lead CUPRA’s electric racing strategy and will be the CUPRA e-Racer official driver, next to Jordi Gene
CUPRA has signed Mattias Ekström as the new e-ambassador of the brand. The special car division from SEAT and the Swedish pilot’s alliance embodies the spirit of motorsport innovation. While CUPRA is pioneering the racing world with the CUPRA e-Racer, the first-ever electric touring car, Ekström has mastered different forms of competition such as the FIA World Rally Cross Championship, where he created his own team.
Ekström will be presented as CUPRA brand ambassador at the brand’s stand in the IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show.
The 41-year-old Swedish has impressive CV that includes an FIA World Rallycross title (2016) two DTM title (2004 and 2007), a Swedish Touring Car title (1999) and three victories in the Race of Champions. He is being widely regarded as one of the most versatile drivers in the world.
While CUPRA is fully aware that the future of racing will involve the use of alternative propulsion, the brand’s engineers will work alongside Ekström on the CUPRA e-Racer’s testing as well as the development of forthcoming electric racing vehicles: “Joining CUPRA is a natural move for me. After a career dedicated to the racing world where I had explored all combustion engine formats I wanted to transition to electric racing with CUPRA, wich has been a pathfinder in this segment since its creation,” said the Swedish driver.
Jodi Gené has been a factory SEAT driver since 2003, and during the past 15 years the Spaniard has been involved in almost all of SEAT’s racing programmes.
Now the 47-year-old has been getting involved in the development of sister brand CUPRA’s new electric touring car, which is set to compete in the new E-TCR series from 2020 onwards.
Gené explained some of the differences of the new car, and how drivers and teams will have to adapt to different challenges compared to the traditional combustion-engined touring car.
“Everything is very new and to understand it well you have to take a step back, not taking anything for granted regardless of how much experience you may have,” said Gené. “[You have to] get know it from the base to work from there."
“I didn’t know the technology we are working with and there are many new things, things that did not happen until now, such as the car emitting smoke when you are cooling down."
“You have to know what is happening in every moment, because the management of temperatures is possibly one of the most difficult parts to manage. It is one of the most critical characteristics of electric cars and on which we have to work more pilots."
“There are other things that are very shocking at the beginning, for example, the ability to accelerate. It is brutal, like a Scalextric car, when you hit the button it goes off and disappears on the straights. In this car it is the same and the driver must be prepared for such a power.”
WSC UNVEILS ETCR TECHNICAL DETAILS
It will be the first global multi-brand electric Touring Car racing conceptThe CUPRA e-Racer is the first realization of the ETCR technical regulations
On the occasion of the first appearance of the CUPRA e-Racer that is exhibited at the Geneva International Motorshow, WSC Technology Ltd. has unveiled the key points of the E TCR technical regulations:
- 4/5-door production touring cars
- Electric motor with 300kW of continuous power and 500kW of max power @ 12000 rpm
- Battery capacity: 65 kWh 800V
- Transmission: rear-wheel drive, single gear
- Front suspension: McPherson strut
- Rear suspension: Double Wishbone
The E TCR-branded power unit of motor, gearbox and inverters, together with the battery pack, will form a common package that will be distributed by WSC Technology and can be fitted into the chassis and shell of different models of cars, including the current TCR racing cars.
WSC Technology plans to organize promotional and media events during the 2018 season before launching a racing series.
WSC Group President, Marcello Lotti explained: “First of all, we wish to thank SEAT for embracing the concept and building the CUPRA e-Racer, which is the first car totally in compliance with the E TCR Technical Regulations. Why E TCR? Because our Group feels to have a sense of responsibility towards the whole Touring Car racing scene and so consequently could not ignore the trends of developing new technologies. We will be working on the same technical principles that made TCR so successful, with the aim of creating a platform for this new configuration.”
WSC Technology CEO, Maurício Slaviero said: “After spending several years in Touring Car racing, the E TCR project represents for me a fresh and exciting challenge. I’m very much looking forward to developing this new series for electric racing cars. We will need to work hard, especially in the start-up phase, but I’m thrilled to be part of TCR’s big family.”
Jaime Puig, CUPRA Director and Head of CUPRA Racing added: “We are delighted to present the CUPRA e-Racer at the Geneva Motor Show. Developing an entirely new car, with a technology new to us, has been an exciting challenge. While we clearly sought externally the specialized competence we needed, we are proud of having achieved this project entirely at CUPRA Racing and of playing a pioneering role in the E TCR concept, just as we did in the TCR process with the SEAT León TCR. The new E TCR is a real revolution, which not only will lead to a new breed of racing Touring Cars but will also challenge the motorsport community to rethink Touring Car racing completely.”
Antonino Labate, CUPRA Director and Head of CUPRA Strategy-Business Development and Operation concluded: “Being the pioneers of such an important project is a great opportunity for CUPRA. Beyond E TCR, our CUPRA e-Racer is the first milestone towards CUPRA’s firm ambition to establish and lead a new vision of motorsport and racing, on and off the circuits. Racing is the core DNA of the CUPRA brand and as such, is at the epicentre of the CUPRA world and strategy.”
WSC Technology launches the ETCR series that will kick off in 2020
It will be the first global multi-brand electric Touring Car racing conceptThe CUPRA e-Racer is the first realization of the ETCR technical regulations
The ETCR series, the first global multi-brand racing series for electric Touring Cars, has been officially launched today at Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya.
A restricted number of guests, including representatives of car manufacturers, automotive suppliers and media, gathered at the ETCR hospitality unit located inside the paddock, in the frame of the GT Open and TCR Europe final event.
Marcello Lotti, President of WSC, introduced the ETCR concept that will have its own championship in 2020.
“In the wake of the global success achieved by TCR and being aware of the automotive market’s current trend towards a new and responsible mobility, two years ago WSC Technology embarked on this ambitious project with the aim of educating the motorsport community in making contact with these new technologies that represent the future reality.”
“The ETCR applies electric power units to the very same chassis concept of TCR cars. It is already attracting the interest of different car manufacturers that also regard it as a tool to restore the role of motorsport as a platform for research & development that can transfer experience and innovations to the standard products.”
“Our ultimate goal is to show the fans that electric car races are as entertaining as those for the internal combustion-engined cars. And we would like to highlight the deep involvement of CUPRA in the overall project from a technical point of view. The cooperation between WSC and SEAT began from the inception of the TCR concept and has now taken a further step forward during this project with the development of the first racing car built in compliance with the ETCR technical regulations.”
After the press conference the guests witnessed the CUPRA e-Racer in a dynamic demonstration and then moved to the pit lane for having a close look at the first fully electric touring car.
CUPRA is the first brand that has developed and presented the new technology for the ETCR platform: the e-Racer is powered by two twin-electric motors located over the rear axle, delivering up to 500 kW (680 bhp) and is also equipped with an energy recovery system. Compared to the conventionally powered CUPRA TCR; despite weighing 400 kilos more, it features excellent performance, such as 0-100 km/h acceleration in 3.2s, and 0-200 km/h in 8.2s.
Further details on the event format and the calendar of the ETCR global championship’s maiden season will be unveiled in due course.