Mikel Azcona maintained his perfect weekend with a faultless performance for Hyundai Motorsport N in the Pool Fast DHL Super Final at Race IT, the fifth round of the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup at Vallelunga.
Whilst the winner’s race was predominantly straightforward, that was far from the case elsewhere with a drama and incident heavy six laps in the heat of the Italian circuit in Regione Lazio.
Pool FAST DHL Super Final Grid
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Bruno Spengler | Mikel Azcona (pole)
Adrien Tambay | Norbert Michelisz
Jordi Gené | Luca Filippi

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Azcona made a clean start but it was clear that Bruno Spengler in the Romeo Ferraris had strong intentions for the lead as he pressured the Veloster driver down to T1 with plenty of contact between the two.

Image credit: FIA ETCR

Azcona was robust in defence and emerged in the lead, whilst behind Michelisz kept third position in the second Hyundai Motorsport car, with Tambay fourth in the CUPRA EKS for but a moment, before Filippi in the second Romeo Ferraris Giulia ETCR tried a brave move around the outside on both cars ahead of him, which only served to leave him vulnerable to attack from Gené in the second CUPRA.
The order was thus settled for the second part of the first lap as tactical considerations came to the fore after the wheel-to-wheel intuition of the first turns.
First to show their hands were seemingly the two CUPRAs, closing up to Michelisz ahead on the second lap whilst dropping Filippi behind. By lap three, Tambay was also dropping his team-mate as he lined-up Michelisz in his sights, but those sights were soon dust-filled as Spengler had a big moment between T2 and T3 with a half-spin into the gravel with airtime and brutal arrestation by the tyre wall. Local yellows were soon out, and Spengler would require a visit to the medical centre and subsequent precautionary checks at the local hospital.
Whilst Spengler remained in his car, so the race continued elsewhere on track and there was more drama come the penultimate lap as Michelisz once more straight-lined the chicane just as he had in the earlier Semi Final, with a delaminating tyre on the rear left of his Veloster.
With The second Hyundai now limping around, Tambay found himself elevated to second place, albeit a country-mile behind Azcona with Gené and Filippi following behind. But that wasn’t all. Early in the final lap, Filippi’s rear left also shred its tread, meaning two cars to limp home as the podium three completed their lap at race pace.
Mikel Azcona, Hyundai Motorsport N

Image credit: FIA ETCR

Not an easy race! It was very tough, especially the start – honestly I didn’t understand what Bruno was doing pushing me on the outside into the gravel in the first metres. You need to be fair and respect the drivers, which I felt he didn’t do but the car was very good from the first corner to the chequered flag. I was able to push with new tyres, the car was perfect, and I was able to make a difference very quickly and build a one second gap. I was able to push and concentrate until the end. When I saw him going into the gravel, and then Norbi a lap later, I tried to take it easy because I didn’t want to throw the race away.
Adrien Tambay, CUPRA EKS
Again a very great turnaround for me this weekend finishing second in the in that Super Final. Okay, it’s not a win like we did in the first four Super Finals, but still a very good points finish. I kind of smelt that the tyre punctures were close and we had the same temperature as yesterday when I had one. I preferred to take it very easy from the beginning and this is what happened to the others. Sometimes you know building a championship is about being clever and today we were we were on this side. So now we will look forward to attack again in the next round.
Pool FAST DHL Super Final Results

Image credit: FIA ETCR

Pool Fast Drivers Final Vallelunga Standings

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The post Azcona secures Pool FAST DHL Super Final victory appeared first on FIA ETCR.
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