The legacy of SEAT, and now CUPRA, on the earth of competitors, has been intensive and profitable, having participated in lots of championships and competitions around the globe. For the reason that delivery of CUPRA, the model has change into the flag of mobility, modernity, and sportsmanship for the brand new generations and these values have been transferred from the road to competitors with its presence in ETCR and Excessive E, two championships with a transparent give attention to revolutionary with electrical autos and with codecs that have a tendency to supply a present that’s totally different from conventional racing.
Coinciding with the ETCR race held on the Jarama circuit, Wayne Griffiths was capable of see first-hand what a weekend on this championship is like and was capable of be near his staff, even going out on the monitor as a co-driver of the CUPRA e-Racer with the present champion Mattias Ekstrom.
Photograph by: CUPRA
Griffiths loved his time at Jarama and ended up satisfied of the significance of any such championship for CUPRA. “The motorsports are a part of our DNA,” Griffiths mentioned, “however clearly CUPRA is a model for the subsequent era of automobile lovers, so we have to give a solution for the subsequent era of automobile lovers about what motorsport means on this new period.
“What is evident about that’s it’s zero emissions sooner or later, I don’t suppose racing round tracks creating numerous CO2 can be very acceptable for the subsequent era and we have to give an answer for that.”
And this resolution appears clear for the Spanish model: ETCR and Excessive E as its future bets to have interaction this new group of automobile fans.
“After I joined the corporate we used to do touring automobile racing so we decided in a short time to maneuver to the electrified,” Griffiths commented in relation to the transfer from the WTCR to the electrical championships.
“Let’s see the place that goes sooner or later however I believe each, the ETCR and the Excessive E, assist place CUPRA as a up to date model for the subsequent era of automobile lovers, with model values round sustainability but in addition emotional as nicely.”
Photograph by: CUPRA
Satisfied of the values that ETCR can contribute to CUPRA’s technique, Griffiths additionally believes the championship should place itself in a greater option to entice this new public.
“Excessive E is a really emotional racing, it’s unimaginable, it’s an journey, it goes to loopy locations around the globe. I’ve simply been talking with the organizers of ETCR we have to transfer this expertise right here as nicely,” he defined.
“I believe it’s nice to have electrical automobiles right here racing however racing in an previous combustion setting, I believe the setting wants to vary as nicely if you wish to interact these younger prospects.
“So gaming zones and extra. If you’d like them right here, then it’s good to convey a celebration right here, and way more inclusive. What I don’t like is that this, the VIP areas, the drivers are there, every little thing is separated. OK, drivers want their privateness, they should be centered, however I believe we have to take folks nearer to the motion, making it a extra emotional expertise.
Photograph by: CUPRA
“This has numerous potential as a result of touring automobiles, together with automobile racing up to now and sooner or later with the electrical automobiles, I believe it’s a type of areas the place you may actually bridge racing automobiles to road automobiles, clearly you may’t do this with numerous the opposite prototype sequence or Formulation 1.”
One of many greatest issues that ETCR faces is the shortage of curiosity that the manufacturers have had in these first two years of the championship since solely CUPRA and Hyundai have given assist up to now.
“Within the final two years we had been busy with COVID,” argues the CUPRA boss. “COVID’s bought every little thing for 2 years! So you must settle for that, we’re rolling yr one truly.
“We’re in, Hyundai’s in, however extra manufacturers want to return in, it must be extra competitors, extra automobiles, I believe it’s actually thrilling sufficient whenever you see the race. I believe the potential is there.
“I simply mentioned to Mr [Marcello] Lotti that what we shouldn’t do is making an attempt to rewrite this taking what the historical past was and making an attempt to make this historical past electrical. Now it must be one thing new, entertaining, participating, on-line and offline, extra integrative, getting the folks nearer to the expertise, and extra emotional. And if we do this it could possibly be large.”
With a possible plan for the subsequent era of the WTCR to be hybrid, Griffiths doesn’t rule out the presence of CUPRA however admits it’s tough to be within the sequence as an official staff.
“We’ll do [in racing] what we provide on the street automobiles,” he mentioned. “We provide electrified automobiles, CUPRA is an electrified model, in the long run view then it’s gonna be absolutely electrical, battery electrical car after 2030.
Photograph by: CUPRA
“However that’s on the way in which because it’s nonetheless a very long time till 2030. I believe to present them [WTCR] that chance to take a look at our expertise, hybrid expertise, hybrid automobiles for the sequence. However our method of serving to scale back emissions, whereas nonetheless with the ability to have a enjoyable race, is vital so I believe the hybrids on the combustion TCR facet of touring automobile racing is the fitting step, to not do it might be unacceptable.
“However, as a model with our personal drivers, we’re centered on the ETCR, on the electrical, as a result of we now have to be centered on one thing, not in all places on the similar time.
“The hybrid factor, we will definitely do automobiles, I imply, even on the TCR facet we do the shopper automobiles however as a racing staff it relies upon, we should be centered, we’re a small firm, we are able to’t do every little thing we wish.”