Signs of hope in Hungary

FIA ETCR Round 2 - Race HU - Hungaroring - The Hyundai Veloster N ETCR showed its progress on a circuit where it struggled to be fast last season. But victory is not yet in sight for Jean-Karl Vernay.

He started his first quarter-final in the best possible way, with a victory. “It was a very good session. We absolutely had to win the quarter-final and we did it. It was a good day overall, with performance. After our difficult weekend in Pau, we need to get back into the fight for the title”, said the driver after the first day.

In Semi-Final 1, he took advantage of a problem with a Cupra to gain a starting position and fight for victory. But on the last lap of the race, as he passed the car of Romeo Ferraris, the two battling drivers made contact and Vernay was pushed off the track. He would eventually finish third.

In the Super Final, “Jay-Kay” fought hard but his race ended prematurely after another contact, causing a rim to break and a spin.

This was not enough to satisfy the Frenchman, but he remains optimistic: “Overall, our performance in Hungary was much better than last season. This is a positive point to take into account for the next race. We were only three tenths off pole position in the Furious Group qualifying. I fought as hard as I could and had some great battles. I had to win my quarter-final to start in the top three in the Super Final, and that’s what I did. Unfortunately I had to give up. It’s frustrating but now I’m concentrating on the race in Spain. We still have some work to do, but we have made good progress.”

There’s no time to procrastinate as Round 3, in Spain, arrives next weekend.

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2022 FIA ETCR drivers’ standings

1 – Adrien Tambay  : 182 pts

2 – Mattias Ekström  : 180

3 – Mikel Azcona : 139

4 – Tom Blomqvist : 138

5 – Bruno Spengler : 138

6 – Maxime Martin : 134

7 – Giovanni Venturini  : 85

8 – Jean-Karl Vernay : 81

9 – Norbert Michelisz : 76

10 – Kevin Ceccon : 72

11 – Jordi Géne : 60

12 -Luca Filippi : 50