Mikel Azcona triumphed in a PURE ETCR Race HU Battle of epic proportions as Pool B got underway at the Hungaroring.
From the get-go, this heavyweight Round 1 Battle was anticipated to be a thriller with the CUPRA X Zengo Motorsport driver going wheel-to-wheel with Romeo Ferraris-M1RA’s Luca Filippi and Hyundai Motorsport N’s Jean-Karl Vernay.
A stunning first half-lap that featured the rivals running three-wide on several occasions was resolved in the Spaniard’s favour early on; Filippi and Vernay forcing each other wide at Turn 13 and allowing Azcona to slip past.
Round 1 highlights
While Azcona used his 40 seconds of Power-up (increasing his power from 300kW to 500kW) ran and hid, an intense battle between Filippi and Vernay went the distance.
Filippi used the pit entrance to get inside Vernay at the Battle’s final corner and made contact with his rival as he edged past, but Vernay was equal to the challenge and rubbed against his rival for the majority of the turn, eventually finishing second.
Battle 1 was won easily by Filippi’s team-mate Rodrigo Baptista from CUPRA’s local hero Daniel Nagy and Hyundai’s Tom Chilton.
Chilton suffered rear-end damage on the second lap as he passed the Hungarian at Turn 3, but ran wide and was tagged as Nagy successfully attempted a switch-back that would regain him the position.
Baptista and Azcona will face off in Round 2 with Vernay against Nagy and Chilton against Filippi.