Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA USA
Special feature

CUPRA takes on learning process at Zolder in FIA ETCR

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

Mattias Ekstrom, Cupra EKS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article The future of CUPRA in racing is electric
Next article How CUPRA's electric racer can surprise in a straight line

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA USA