Mattias Ekström made history at Vallelunga by topping PURE ETCR’s first official free practice session ahead of this weekend’s RACE IT.
The Swede topped the timesheets in his CUPRA e-Racer, which is run by Zengo Motorsport X CUPRA.
His time of 1m21.743s, which was set with seven minutes to go, was just 0.100s faster than his nearest rival, Hyundai Motorsport N’s Jean-Karl Vernay.
“There are no trophies for practice, but yes it’s nice to be fastest the very first time,” Ekström said.
“It’s very difficult to do a perfect lap when you have such a short amount of practice before we start the Battles tomorrow – especially with 500kW; that’s a huge amount of power.
“The fastest lap was with 500kW and it wasn’t a perfect lap, but it feels good in all power levels and I’m looking forward to racing tomorrow.”
The Hyundai Veloster N ETCRs of Vernay and Tom Chilton were first on-track, shortly followed by Romeo Ferraris – M1RA driver Stefano Coletti.
It was Coletti who went top of the timesheets by the mid-point of the session before Ekström and Vernay shuffled him back to third.
Fellow Giulia ETCR by Romeo Ferraris driver Oli Webb was next up with Dániel Nagy’s CUPRA and Chilton sixth.
Six drivers took part in the session. Their team-mates, with whom they share their cars on race weekends, will be behind the wheel for FP2 at 1630 local time.
1 Mattias Ekström, Zengo Motorsport X CUPRA e-Racer: 1m21.743
2 Jean-Karl Vernay, Hyundai Motorsport N Veloster ETCR: +0.100s
3 Stefano Coletti, Romeo Ferraris – M1RA Giulia ETCR: +1.572s
4 Oli Webb, Romeo Ferraris – M1RA Giulia ETCR: +1.760s
5 Dániel Nagy, Zengo Motorsport X CUPRA e-Racer: +2.247s
6 Tom Chilton, Hyundai Motorsport N Veloster ETCR: +15.633s