Spielberg, Austria 11/09/2016 – For the second time in the history of the SEAT Leon Eurocup, the Red Bull Ring welcomed a round of the international single-make series and witnessed yet another gripping episode of this intense contest. 15 drivers from 11 different countries contested the two races around the fast 4.3km asphalt track and the winners were beyond dispute for round five of the 2016 saga.
Saturday’s sprint was dominated from the start by Mikel Azcona (PCR Sport), who has set a consistent pace across the weekend but the Spaniard faced an anxious wait after crossing the finish line in first place with Race Direction ultimately imposing a three second penalty for running outside the limits of the Austrian circuit. Thus, the first race classification was duly adjusted and the victory was awarded to Niels Langeveld (Baporo Motorsport) ahead of Azcona and followed by Brit Alex Morgan (Wolf-Power Racing); the trio making up the podium of the first outing. Austrian Mario Dablander (SEAT Austria) was fourth on home turf. Frenchwoman Marie Baus-Coppens (JSB Competition) was the fastest in the Ladies trophy.
Sunday’s racing conditions were ideal for the SEAT Leon Eurocup hopefuls as they returned to action. As is the norm, the starting order was reversed and the group of Cup Racers once again rumbled on the Red Bull Ring tarmac; negotiating the tight and tricky first uphill corner to launch another dispute. Setting an excellent rhythm was Julien Briché (JSB Competition), firmly in control of proceedings, chased by Alex Morgan (Wolf-Power Racing) and Mikel Azcona (PCR Sport) who started their comebacks through the field after setting off from seventh and tenth positions. The three protagonists broke free at the Red Bull Ring and clocked a series of laps that no other driver could follow. Briché (JSB Competition) went on to claim and enjoy his first win of the season ahead of Azcona (PCR Sport) and Morgan (Wolf-Power Racing).
After some breath-taking chases in Austria Niels Langeveld (Baporo Motorsport) now heads the standings by 171 points followed by Stian Paulsen (Stian Paulsen Racing) with 163 and Mikel Azcona (PCR Sport) on 155 in third place. Marie Baus-Coppens (JSB Competition) leads the way in the ‘Ladies Trophy’ with 40 points.
Julien Briché, JSB Competition, 1st in the second race of the 2016 SEAT Leon Eurocup: “It was a fantastic race and I really enjoyed it. The start was a bit complicated for us but I was able to get in control and then keep consistent until the end. We worked really well through the whole weekend and this reflected directly in the results. I want to thank and congratulate my team for the job we made. More at the Nürburgring!”
Mikel Azcona, PCR Sport, 2nd in the second race of the 2016 SEAT Leon Eurocup: “It was a very complicated race and we handled it in the best way that we could. There was a lot of traffic on such a narrow and fast track and we had to keep concentrated at every moment; this focus allowed us to keep pushing and remain close to Julien Briché. We have to be happy with the results from each race and I think the standings now look more interesting than ever.”
Alex Morgan, Wolf-Power Racing, 3rd in the second race of the 2016 SEAT Leon Eurocup: “We knew we had the speed to be at the front and it turned out to be like this even if it was really tricky to come back through from tenth position. Anyway we knew we could make it through a difficult outing and arrived to grab our second podium finish here in Austria. We can go to the Nürburgring pretty satisfied with our work and having taken some important points for the championship.”
Marie Baus-Coppens, JSB Competition, 14th in the second race of the 2016 SEAT Leon Eurocup, 1st in the ‘Ladies Trophy’: “We fought well in both races against very fast drivers and at a circuit that was not easy for overtaking, so I think that is an important point to remember. Overall they were two rapid and intense races that we really enjoyed.”
Jaime Puig, Director of SEAT Sport: “We really savoured these two races at the Red Bull Ring this weekend. As is usual in the SEAT Leon Eurocup, the intensity, the overtaking and the constant changes for the lead formed the principal tonic that we could enjoy here at the Austrian round. Red Bull Ring is a circuit that is not simple for overtaking and this made things more complicated for most of the drivers on the grid. The standings are now shaping up to be really interesting and we head to Nürburgring next weekend where we will anticipate more excitement from the SEAT Leon Eurocup”.