Ekström crowned King of the Season as Vernay wins sensational finale

Mattias Ekström is the first-ever PURE ETCR King of the Season after the most dramatic possible climax to the season in a DHL SuperFinal B at Pau-Arnos E-Circuit that was won by chief title rival Jean-Karl Vernay.

The Swede started on pole position for CUPRA X Zengo Motorsport knowing that just a fifth-place finish would be enough to make him the winner of the world’s first all-electric, multi-brand touring car title.

But his title dreams appeared to be in tatters after he collided with fellow front-row starter Philipp Eng at the first corner, sustaining a puncture and spinning at high speed in front of the pack.

While Eng retired in the pits with the damage sustained, the CUPRA mechanics were able to replace the tyre and investigate damage to the underside of Ekström’s car.

Satisfied, they sent him back out, knowing that simply taking the chequered flag would be enough to secure the title.

After a nervous wait, Ekström duly did this, while at the front of the field Vernay and Tom Chilton finished one-two for Hyundai Motorsport N.

Not only did this secure Vernay’s first King of the Weekend award of 2021, but it also meant he and Augusto Farfus – the DHL SuperFinal A winner – made it a one-two overall for Hyundai, which was also the winning Manufacturer for the first time, with Mikel Azcona third in the weekend points for CUPRA.

Rodrigo Baptista completed the DHL SuperFinal B podium ahead of CUPRA’s Jordi Gene and Ekström.

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