It shouldn’t really be a surprise that a driver of Jordi Gené’s talent and ability would reach the final round of PURE ETCR as one of five title contenders.
But with 2021 marking his first full season of racing for five years, even the man himself found the whole situation a little unexpected as he showed that consistency is key in the world’s first all-electric multi-brand touring car series.
Having given the ETCR concept its public debut in October 2018, and acted as chief tester for the CUPRA e-Racer, nobody had driven more kilometres in electric touring cars than the 50-year-old Spaniard as the season kicked off at Vallelunga in June.
It was a stuttering start too as he was spun by Rodrigo Baptista on the second lap of the very first Round 1 battle Battle. But the Barcelona native responded brilliantly to finish third in his DHL SuperFinal and set out his stall for the season ahead.
Further DHL SuperFinal podiums in Spain and Denmark plus three Battle wins were the catalyst for a surprise run at the title as he rose as high as third in the points table by mid-season and entered the season finale in France as one of five potential Kings of the Season.
Unlike CUPRA by Zengo Motorsport team-mates Mattias Ekström and Mikel Azcona, Gené never finished on the podium overall in any of the five events.
But an ultra-consistent approach meant he finished each of the first four events inside the top five in the King of the Weekend standings.
He even survived another collision with Baptista’s Romeo Ferraris-M1RA team-mate Stefano Coletti (who left the team shortly afterwards) in DHL SuperFinal A at MotorLand Aragón that put his rival out and netted the Monegasque a penalty.
Ever the dutiful team-mate, Gené played a key role in team-mate Ekström’s title success as he slotted in behind when the pair were matched-up in Round 2, knowing that he was putting himself out of the title hunt by doing so.
Had he not done so, Ekström would have lost the title the following day by just two points, following his first-corner collision with Philipp Eng.
On such small decisions, seasons are won and lost.