Preview: The 2021 PURE ETCR Series - Pau-Arnos Finale


October 13, 2021

by Phil Kinch

Before it becomes the FIA eTouring Car World Cup - ETCR next year, there is the small matter of crowning the first-ever PURE ETCR Series Champion this weekend at the newly upgraded Circuit Pau-Arnos in France, with five drivers in the mix.

Leading the way in the points standings is double DTM Champion and 2016 World RX Champion Mattias Ekström in the Zengő Motorsport X CUPRA e-Racer, having won the PURE ETCR Race of Spain and used consistency to stay out front and maintain his lead.

Whilst he stands as the favourite to take the title, Ekström has four other rivals in his way and the first in line is Hyundai Motorsport N’s lead driver Jean-Karl Vernay, who is twenty-nine points behind the CUPRA driver and has not taken an event win this season.

Fellow CUPRA driver Mikel Azcona, who secured the 2021 TCR Europe Touring Car Series title last weekend, is in the hunt for his second TCR title of the year despite being in third place in the standings, a further six points behind Vernay.

With two King of the Weekend titles from both Spain and Hungary and his latest TCR Europe success, the Spaniard will be on a charge to take another title.

CUPRA has three of its four drivers in the hunt to be the first-ever PURE ETCR Series champion with Jordi Gené holding fourth place in the points, enjoying his best performances on his return to top-flight touring car racing this season.

Whilst both Hyundai Motorsport N and Zengő Motorsport X CUPRA have drivers in the fight, don’t count out Romeo Ferraris - M1RA, as the last of the five drivers involved is current TCR South America points leader Rodrigo Baptista who has performed impressively in the Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR.

Whilst there is the Drivers title and Manufacturer’s title to be decided, there is still the matter of one racing weekend still left to go and there will be several drivers out to end their season on a high.

For John Filippi, this will be his home event and the best chance to shine in the series after some positive performances this year, whilst Augusto Farfus is well placed in sixth position overall in the points, also looking for a PURE ETCR event win to add to his career tally.

Having moved to the full electric rear-wheel-drive series this year, Tom Chilton has played the tactical game at each event which hasn't yet paid off, but the British driver has the speed and guile to sneak a long overdue King of the Weekend title.

At CUPRA, the final driver in the Zengő Motorsport X CUPRA quartet is Daniel Nagy and after coming close to winning at home in Hungary, the former TCR Europe race winner should be in the mix to support his three team-mates.

Despite not racing in Italy or Spain, Philipp Eng walked away with the King of the Weekend title in Denmark in the Romeo Ferraris - M1RA Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR and once more will be out for glory to give the Italian-Hungarian alliance a positive end to the year.

With Oli Webb returning to the team after his endurance commitments and Luca Filippi capable of scoring big this weekend, once again we are set for another fine weekend of action from the multi-brand all-electric touring car racing series.

Sharing the same venue with the FIA World Touring Car Cup - WTCR for the third time this year, the draw for Pools A and B will take place at 19:30 pm BST on Thursday before Free Practice gets underway on Friday at 10:00 am BST.

All sessions will be shown both on the Eurosport Player and the PURE ETCR YouTube Channel, apart from the Super Finals, which are shown exclusively on the Eurosport Player.

Image Credit: PURE ETCR Media

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