Le Castellet 26/04/2015. - Fran Rueda (Monlau Competición) and Mikel Azcona (PCR Sport) were the stars of the 2015 SEAT Leon Eurocup’s first round at Paul Ricard. Rueda was the winner of the event held today at the French circuit while yesterday Azcona took victory in the first race of the weekend. Indeed, the young PCR Sport rookie from Navarra is the early leader of the general classification in the international series, followed by Rueda and Pol Rosell (Baporo Motorsport). Meanwhile, Amalia Vinyes, 11th in the race today and Lucile Cypriano, eighth yesterday, stepped onto the podium in the new category of the Ladies Trophy championship.

Rueda was the top man in a frantic race. Manuel Gião, who started from pole, was the leader on the first lap but fell back to 12th position after a clash with Stian Paulsen, who was second. After the incident, the pair conceded the lead to Rueda, who then dominated the race until the end. The Spaniard lapped at a very consistent pace, only slowed by the appearance of the 'Safety Car' on the fifth lap after his teammate Jaume Font (Monlau Competición) went off track.

The race restarted on lap nine and Rueda re-imposed his comfortable pace. Behind him, Julien Briché and Rosell had a spectacular fight for second place until the last corner. In the end, Rueda took victory, his first in the championship, followed by Briché, who scored his sixth podium in the championship since 2014, and Rosell in third. However, after the race the Frenchman received a penalty of one second for defending his position outside the limits of the track. Therefore, Rosell moved up a position as he took his second consecutive podium of the weekend, his seventh in the international series.

In the first race of the championship Azcona dominated from start to finish. From the grid, in pole position, the Spaniard held first position and set a pace which was impossible for the rest of the field to match, also marking the fastest lap (2'19.037). Azcona crossed the finish line in first position, followed by Paulsen, who notched the eighth podium of his career in the European championship, and Rosell was third, after an intense battle with Rueda, winner of today’s race.

The next round of the season will be over the weekend of 9th and 10th May at the Portuguese circuit of Estoril.

Fran Rueda, Monlau Competición, 1st place in Race 2 of the SEAT Leon Eurocup 2015: " We had a good race after starting fifth, getting away well, which allowed us to gain two positions at the beginning. On the first lap Gião and Paulsen touched, leaving a gap that I took advantage of to slipstream Paulsen, putting me into second. When the 'Safety Car', came out it was very important to retain the position and stay focused. I did this and then kept a good pace until the end of the race. I am very happy with the win but also with the great work that my team did. Thank you to everyone.”

Julien Briché, 2nd place in Race 2 of the SEAT Leon Eurocup 2015: “I am not satisfied as I started out with the intention of winning at home but in the end, it was not to be. Having two starts in the same race is always tricky because you have to stay focused at all times and know when to pick up the pace after the 'Safety Car' goes off. I really wanted to do well though and even if second place is not bad, it’s not what I wanted.”

Pol Rosell, Baporo Motorsport, 3rd place in Race 2 of the SEAT Leon Eurocup 2015: “It was a difficult race from the off as I didn’t have a good start, I lost some positions, and then the 'Safety Car' came out, so things got more complicated. In the restart I lost sight of the leading group, but later I cut the gap and fought for the top positions. Once again, we achieved a podium result, making it two this weekend, and this is the most important thing for the championship.”

Amalia Vinyes, highest ranked in the Ladies Trophy category in race 2 - SEAT Leon Eurocup 2015: “We tried to push hard from the beginning but was a very difficult race. On the chicane I lost some positions but I was able to recover later. Despite the difficulties, we raced well and got a 12th position, so this put us on the Ladies Trophy podium. Now we look forward to Portugal!”

Jaime Puig, Director of SEAT Sport: “This was the first weekend of the 2015 SEAT Leon Eurocup at Paul Ricard and it’s been very interesting. We enjoyed two fantastic races, with lots of action as the victory went down to the final lap in both races. There will be more close racing and great excitement throughout the championship.”

Race 2 Classification:

1. Fran Rueda (#28), Monlau Competición; 35'26.817
2. Pol Rosell (#1), Baporo Motorsport; +3.083
3. Julien Briché (#3), Julien Briché; + 3.315
4. Mikel Azcona (#6), PCR Sport; +3.417
5. Mario Dablander (#61), SEAT Austria; +4.175
6. Stian Paulsen (#34), Stian Paulsen Racing; +5.315
7. Jordi Oriola (#33), Target, SRL; +6.500
8. Alexander Morgan (#22), Baporo Motorsport; +7.228
9. Jürgen Schmarl (#11), Target, SRL; +7.645
10. Manuel Gião (#2), Baporo Motorsport; +10.858
11. Amalia Vinyes (#13), Baporo Motorsport; +17.063
12. Guillaume Mondron (#45), Guillaume Mondron; +18.993
13. Marco Pellegrini (#67), Marc Pellegrini; +19.842
14. Michel Zemp (#7), Wolf-Power Racing; +20.118
15. Marie Baus-Coppens (#21), Marie Baus-Coppens; +21.038
16. Jean-Laurent Navarro (#77), Navarro Jean-Laurent; +23.102
17. Dejan Bulatovic (#12), Lein Racing; +23.632
18. Stefano Zanini (#23), Stefano Zanini; +27.820
19. Mateu Clement (#73), Mateu Clement; +28.652
20. Edina Bús (#87), B3 Hungary KFT; +33.712
21. Gugger Andrina (#24), Target, SRL; +35.322
22. Mladen Lalusic (#17), Lein Racing; +1 vuelta

DNF:

23. Mauricio Hernández (#10), Target, SRL; +10 vueltas
24. Lucile Cypriano (#9), Lucile Cypriano; +10 vueltas
25. Jaume Font (#4), Monlau Competición; +10 vueltas
26. Dominik Fekete (#37), B3 Hungary KFT; +10 vueltas
27. Lourenço Beirão Da Veiga (#20), Lourenço Beirão Da Veiga; +12 vueltas
28. Zsolt Dávid Szabó (#46), Zengö Motorsport KFT; +12 vueltas

Race 1 Classification:

1. Mikel Azcona (#6), PCR Sport; 25'49.232
2. Stian Paulsen (#34), Stian Paulsen Racing; + 1.446
3. Pol Rosell (#1), Baporo Motorsport; +5.087
4. Fran Rueda (#28), Monlau Competición; +5.271
5. Alexander Morgan (#22), Baporo Motorsport; +10.059
6. Mauricio Hernández (#10), Target, SRL; +18.255
7. Jordi Oriola (#33), Target, SRL; +20.239
8. Lucile Cypriano (#9), Lucile Cypriano; +22.206
9. Manuel Gião (#2), Baporo Motorsport; +23.547
10. Mario Dablander (#61), SEAT Austria; +24.007
11. Jürgen Schmarl (#11), Target, SRL; +24.294
12. Amalia Vinyes (#13), Baporo Motorsport; +25.574
13. Jaume Font (#4), Monlau Competición; +29.411
14. Dejan Bulatovic (#12), Lein Racing; +33.738
15. Jean-Laurent Navarro (#77), Navarro Jean-Laurent; +34.227
16. Zsolt Dávid Szabó (#46), Zengö Motorsport KFT; +35.472
17. Stefano Zanini (#23), Stefano Zanini; +36.416
18. Gugger Andrina (#24), Target, SRL; +44.277
19. Dominik Fekete (#37), B3 Hungary KFT; +45.098
20. Marie Baus-Coppens (#21), Marie Baus-Coppens; +46.817
21. Mateu Clement (#73), Mateu Clement; +51.100

DNF:

22. Maden Lalusic (#17), Lein Racing; +2 vueltas
23. Julien Briché (#3), Julien Briché; +3 vueltas
24. Guillaume Mondron (#45), Guillaume Mondron; +4 vueltas
25. Edina Bús (#87), B3 Hungary KFT; +4 vueltas
26. Michel Zemp (#7), Wolf-Power Racing; +10 vueltas
27. Lourenço Beirão Da Veiga (#20), Lourenço Beirão Da Veiga; +11 vueltas
28. Marco Pellegrini (#67), Marco Pellegrini; +11 vueltas

SEAT Leon Eurocup 2015 general classification:

1. Mikel Azcona (#6), PCR Sport; 18 points
2. Fran Rueda (#28), Monlau Competición; 15 points
3. Pol Rosell (#1), Baporo Motorsport; 12 points
4. Stian Paulsen (#34), Stian Paulsen Racing; 10 points
5. Julien Briché (#3), Julien Briché; 9 points
6. Jordi Oriola (#33), Target, SRL; 7 points
7. Alexander Morgan (#22), Baporo Motorsport; 5 points
8. Mario Dablander (#61), SEAT Austria; 3 points
9. Mauricio Hernández (#10), Target, SRL; 3 points
10. Lucile Cypriano (#9), Lucile Cypriano; 1 point

For more information about the SEAT Leon Eurocup, visit www.seat-sport.com/eurocup