Mattias Ekstrom tests Cupra e-Racer as new ETCR Series edges closer

by James Bowers

Having recently been announced as the Spanish marque’s latest acquisition in the driver market, Mattias Ekstrom has begun his testing regime with Cupra ahead of the new ETCR electric touring car series.

The latest electric racing category to hit the motorsport scene is set to surge into life next year, with both Cupra and Hyundai already being confirmed to take part.

For now though, Ekstrom and the Cupra racing engineers are putting in the miles to form the most competitive package that they possibly can. With twenty-five years of experience in everything from DTM to the FIA World Rallycross Championship, Ekstrom is one of the most versatile elite drivers in the world. That said, even he will need some time to get used to the car, with it’s lack of gearbox and engine noise being two oddities to mentally overcome.

Despite being weighed down by a 400kg battery pack, Cupra’s latest race car isn’t exactly what you’d call ‘lethargic’. Propelling itself from 0-60 in just 3.2 seconds, the e-Racer won’t run out of steam until it reaches a top speed of 167 mph – totally eclipsing the performance of it’s petrol-powered touring car counterparts.

After completing the team’s most recent development session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Ekstrom had plenty to take away from his first experience of an electric-powered racing car.

“It felt really good, especially when reaching full power coming out of the slow corners on the circuit.” he said. “I really enjoyed the first lap. The second also went well, although I began to notice that I was forcing the rear tyres.

I still need some time to get used to the sound of the engine; it’s much quieter than any other I’ve driven before, and I’m a very emotional driver. In addition, I have to pay close attention to energy management in each lap; that’s essential with an electric race car, almost as important as its speed.”

And as for his ultimate goal? Well, that’s simple:

“Winning is everything to me; it’s the same with the Cupra e-Racer as with any of the other cars I’ve competed with. So my dream is to win and be the champion.”

“I want to put Cupra on the podium of global motorsport.”

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