Stefano Comini and Stian Paulsen won the first two races of the SEAT Leon Eurocup at the Nürburgring last weekend, with a total of five different drivers standing on the podium.
Race one of the season saw Comini absolutely dominating proceedings, with the Swiss driver leading from lights-to-flag without anyone threatening him, with Julien Briché the closest driver to him, all be it five seconds back.
Throughout the race there was one main battle, with Paulsen gaining positions of the line to jump from sixth to fourth to fight with Fran Rueda and Jordi Oriola, who also made a cracking start from ninth on the grid. After a scarp throughout the entire race it was Paulsen who eventually came out on top, with Rueda finishing fourth and Oriola fifth.
Other movers through the race included Ednia Bus, who worked her way up from 20th and last to 13th, although her B3R Hungay KFT team mate Gábor Wéber failed to finish after starting fifteenth.
“To win the first race of the season and to do it from pole was absolutely amazing, and to do it with a new car that I don’t know very well yet is an even better feeling,” said Comini. “We have to keep on working hard, but I’m happy to start the season in such a strong way.”
The second race on Sunday saw action start from the word go, with Oriola and Amalia Vinyes making contact sending Vinyes into a spin, although thankfully she wasn’t collected by the pack. Also making a move was Thomas Fjordbach, who had gotten into the lead after passing pole-sitter Lorenzo Veglia. But two laps later the battle was over after the pair made contact, sending Fjordbach into retirement.
That lead to the duo of Paulsen and Briché to chase down Veglia, but that fell down to only one driver after Briché feel down the order due to damage on his JSB machine. A lap later though and things changed once again as Veglia was given a drive-through penalty for his contact with Fjordbach, sending him down the order to fifth place.
But it wasn’t all that simple for Paulsen in the lead, as Manuel Gião in second was now only nine tenths of a second behind him, although his efforts to chase down Paulen were in vain. However, down in third place, a battle was raging, with Pol Rosell, Oriola, Rueda and Ferenc Ficza all duelling it out, with Oriola originally coming out on top, but was later demoted to tenth after he received a penalty for the contact with Vineys.
After the race Paulsen said: “I feel incredibly happy! I’m absolutely delighted with this win, even though we need to keep improving in order to get faster towards the end of the race, as I struggled a bit today.
“I’ve been working day and night for the last three months to be here, so yesterday’s podium and today’s win are the perfect ways to start this championship and it’s very satisfying to see that all our efforts are paying off straight away. Today’s drive back home to Norway won’t be that hard!”
That result means the Paulsen now leads the championship on 16 points from Comini, who is three points back, with Monlau Competición’s Rueda also on 13 points.