2015 FIA European Touring Car Cup rounds one and two of 12
Hungaroring (HUN), 1-3 May 2015
There was high drama when the 2015 FIA European Touring Car Cup got underway at the Hungaroring today with Ferenc Ficza and Dusan Borkovic taking an overall win and Single Make Trophy success apiece in their SEAT Leon Cup Racers to jointly lead the championship standings.
Davit Kajaia bagged a brace of TC2T class wins, while fellow BMW driver Michal Matejovský’s efforts to make it two TC2 triumphs were foiled following contact at the start of race two. That let in Honda driver Peter Rikli for class victory in the second event. Nicklas Mackschin dominated the Super 1600 contest with two wins in his Ford Fiesta.
After rainy conditions throughout Saturday, both ETCC races were held in dry weather on Sunday – with plenty of incidents and action during the opening rounds that mark the series out as an exciting and combative breeding ground for the touring cars stars of the future.
RACE ONE ROUND-UP: LATE KAJAIA DRAMA HANDS FICZA VICTORY
Georgia’s Davit Kajaia had seemed set for victory after rocketing up from sixth on the grid to take the overall lead just before halfway. But the Engstler BMW driver ran wide under pressure from Ficza and dropped to second. “My tyres were wearing out, so I just made a mistake,” he explained. “But still, I am very happy with my first weekend in serious international racing.” Ficza, driving a SEAT León Cup Racer, took an emotional win in front of his home crowd to get his season off to the best possible start. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw Davit run wide,” he said. “I just saw the opportunity and went for it.” Petr Fulin, who finished third, got past pole-sitter Dušan Borkovic after the rolling start, but the Serbian regained the lead a few laps later following contact between the pair. Their delay promoted Mato Homolo into the lead but he ended up being punted off the track, an incident that earned Borkovic a drive-through penalty and dropped him to 11th overall before he fought back to fifth by the finish.
RACE TWO ROUND-UP: MATEJOVSKÝ OUT OF LUCK AS BORKOVIC TRIUMPHS
Michal Matejovský started the reverse grid second race from pole. Although the BMW driver made a good start, Alexandr Artemyev was unable to avoid nudging the Czech into a spin at the first corner. The contact resulted in a drive-through penalty for Alexandr Artemyev and paved the way clear for Serbian Borkovic to triumph. “In the first few seconds I thought that maybe it would be all over, but then I realised that the hit was not on the wheel so it would be okay,” said Matejovský. “I have taken a lot of confidence from this weekend, and I really feel that we can be quick on the other circuits too now.” This enabled Borkovic to take the lead from third on the grid, which he held all the way to the end in his SEAT, with the similar cars of Ficza and Fulin finishing second and third. “Even though the car was completely new to me, I found a really good feeling with it straight away,” said Borkovic. “I want to make as much progress in my career as possible, and I am sure this is the best way.” Kajaia was fourth and best of the TCT2 category in his BMW, while eighth for Swiss Honda driver Peter Rikli meant that he was highest-placed of the TC2 runners. Another win for Mackschin in the Super 1600 class rounded off a perfect weekend for the young German in his Ford Fiesta. “It went brilliantly for me: we didn’t have a single problem all weekend. I hope now we can continue like this now for the rest of the year, but the Super 1600 category is very competitive.”
Championship leaders: TC2T: Davit Kajaia (BMW) 23 points; TC2: Michal Matejovsky (BMW) 21; Super 1600: Niklas Mackschin (Ford) 23; Single Make Trophy: Ferenc Ficza and Dušan Borkovic (SEAT) 18.