Starting Gate passes test with flying colours

Drivers from three manufacturers sample full-scale ‘Battle’ format

Flat-out racing with no energy saving promises intense competition

PURE ETCR’s preparations for the world’s first all-electric, multi-brand touring car series took a major step forwards this week with the successful completion of a pre-season ‘stress test’ at Autodromo Vallelunga, Italy.

The test, which took place on Wednesday (May 5), simulated key elements of a PURE ETCR race weekend, including ‘Battle’ races in which competitors run flat-out without the need to save energy, recharging procedures and other operational elements.

Race simulations were completed using the innovative 24m-wide Starting Gate, at which every PURE ETCR Battle will commence in place of traditional starting lights, and the series’ push-to-pass system was also trialled in a multi-car scenario.

The 500kW ETCR powertrain used by all competing cars created a mighty spectacle as representatives from all three manufacturers trialled the Battle format in which the most powerful touring cars ever built (with the equivalent of 670bhp) will compete, free from the constraints of driving to save energy.

The Energy Station – the heart of the PURE ETCR paddock – made its operational debut with cars being recharged in situ throughout the day via the structure combining hydrogen generators and chargers.

There was a thorough work-out through the timing and procedural systems and a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the Eurosport Events TV team that will produce the International feed for the series, to be distributed worldwide throughout 2021 – including the draw for the Battle groups.

Hyundai Motorsport was represented by race drivers Augusto Farfus, Jean-Karl Vernay and John Filippi while Stefano Coletti took part for Romeo Ferraris. CUPRA Racing split driving duties between Mattias Ekström, Jordi Gené and Mikel Azcona.

PURE ETCR’s inaugural event will take place at Vallelunga on June 18-20.

Xavier Gavory, PURE ETCR Series Director, said: “The Stress Test was a very intensive day for everyone involved and is the culmination of a lot of hard work by our organisation team as well as our partners, suppliers and competitors. Just like a new racecar requires a thorough test process to get it working in the best possible way, it was paramount to have this run-through to validate the processes we’ve planned – many of which are extremely innovative. To see cars from all three of our manufacturers released from the Starting Gate and constantly overtaking each other in intense battle simulation was a very satisfying moment. I can’t wait to see it all happen for real when we return to Vallelunga on June 18-20.”

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