Pool FURIOUS presented a very different DHL Super Final than expected to end the fifth round of the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup, Race IT, in Vallelunga with what looked like being a certain win for Hyundai Motorsport N driver Nicky Catsburg turning into a victory for CUPRA EKS driver Mattias Ekström.
It was already a very different and depleted grid after Romeo Ferraris withdrew their cars following Bruno Spengler’s earlier accident in the earlier Pool FAST DHL Super Final meaning Maxime Martin was unable to continue his fine run of form from pole position and Giovanni Venturini would not have the chance to put in a fine performance to end his weekend either.
Pool FURIOUS DHL Super Final Grid
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Nicky Catsburg | [DNS Maxime Martin pole]
Mattias Ekström | Tom Blomqvist
[DNS Giovanni Venturini] | Jean-Karl Vernay
At the off from the space-out grid Catsburg made a fine start down to T1, with Ekström unchallenged by Blomqvist alongside. As the leading CUPRA tried to chase down the rapidly disappearing Catsburg so the second CUPRA soon had a very feisty Vernay in the second Hyundai Motorsport Veloster to contend with.
Jean-Karl was able to make his way past very briefly on the first lap, but Blomqvist was having none of that and pushed right back into third place on the first lap.
With six laps and only 40 seconds of Power Up to use, so deployment tactics were a factor, with Vernay at the fore of the early adopters and a more balanced approach from those ahead. Catsburg was able to stretch a lead and as the laps ticked by it looked like it would be an easy win for the Hyundai Motosport season part-timer.
Don’t speak too soon. The four cars ended the penultimate lap Catsburg – Ekström – Blomqvist – Vernay, but that would change near the end of the final lap when, with almost a two-second lead, Catsburg suffered an extreme rear left delamination, dropping him from first to last and gifting the win to Ekström, with Blomqvist and Vernay right behind across the line.
Pool FURIOUS DHL Super Final Results

Image credit: FIA ETCR

Pool FURIOUS Drivers Final Vallelunga Standings

Image credit: FIA ETCR

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