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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Ekstrom topped PURE ETCR champion as Vernay wins ultra-dramatic finale

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Beginning the second SuperFinal from pole place, the Swede solely wanted to complete fifth to make sure his place in historical past, no matter what occurred to chief title rival Jean-Karl Vernay.

Extremely although, Ekstrom collided with fellow front-row starter Philipp Eng coming into the downhill first nook, spinning wildly in entrance of the pack and miraculously persevering with, albeit with a punctured rear tyre and vital injury to his CUPRA e-Racer’s ground.

He dived for the pits on the finish of the lap and was in a position to proceed – a lap down – with a brand new wheel and at diminished speeds, realizing that to be categorized as a finisher he needed to full a minimum of 75 per cent of the race’s distance.

With Eng dropping out with the injury sustained, Ekstrom circulated in fifth, doing simply sufficient to be topped champion by 4 factors.

On the entrance Vernay headed Hyundai team-mate Tom Chilton and Romeo Ferraris-M1RA’s Rodrigo Baptista to win not solely the SuperFinal, however the French occasion total – on the identical day he had additionally been victorious within the WTCR race on the identical circuit.

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His 72-point haul was 9 higher than Hyundai team-mate Augusto Farfus – who had been equally dominant in SuperFinal A, because the Korean model took the Producers’ prize with a one-two end.

Three drivers had begun the day in title competition; Ekstrom, Vernay and Mikel Azcona, who was the one one of many trio drawn in Pool A at the beginning of the weekend.

Azcona began fifth in SuperFInal A, and after banging doorways with Hyundai’s John Filippi on the run to the primary nook, grew to become trapped close to the again, forcing him to make use of extra of his Energy-Up within the early laps to make up the bottom he wanted.

He did ultimately move Filippi, the Giulia ETCR of Oli Webb and team-mate Daniel Nagy to complete third; a end result that momentarily put him into the sequence lead and confirmed CUPRA X Zengo Motorsport as Producers’ champions.

Azcona accomplished the rostrum in France, ending third in each the occasion and the sequence as a complete.

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