The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series returns to action last week for the second round of the 2019 season at Autodromo di Franciacorta. In the Elite 2 class, it was Lasse Sørensen who stole the headlines after he shockingly won his very first NASCAR race in Race 1 after taking advantage of the mechanical failures suffered by Florian Venturi and Andre Castro, before scoring a podium finish in Race 2 to complete his amazing debut week. Meanwhile, Florian Venturi would turn around his luck after he dominates Race 2, with the young Frenchman winning with a gap of 15 seconds to Andre Castro.
As we are waiting for Round 3 at Brands Hatch in just 2 weeks’ time, we’re collecting some of the words that the Elite 2 drivers say after the races at Franciacorta.
Lasse Sørensen – No. 66 Dexwet DF1 Racing
The man who stole the headlines in Franciacorta, the young Dane shockingly won Race 1 before scoring a podium with a third-place finish in Race 2 to cap off one of the most incredible debuts in the NASCAR Euro history. Here’s what Sørensen had to say in Dexwet DF1 Racing’s post-race press release:
“It was a great weekend,” said Sørensen in the press release. “At the beginning we had difficulties finding the right setup, but we continued to work hard and in the end, as the success shows we were there with the top drivers. I’m happy that we clinched the victory. We were lucky, but I was at the right place at the right time. I am proud of the team and thank my sponsors flexlease.nu and Saphe. I’m really proud of the performance on my NASCAR debut. I think we will be even stronger at Brands Hatch.”
Florian Venturi – No. 32 Go Fas Racing
After a very tough weekend in Valencia, the Frenchman came to Franciacorta looking for some good results to stay in the fight for the Championship. After winning the Pole Position in Qualifying, his Race 1 was cut short after his car suffered a mechanical failure in lap 5 while he was on the lead. He would, however, redeemed himself in Race 2 to score a dominant flag-to-flag victory ahead of Andre Castro. Here’s what Venturi had to say to Mark Werrell post-race:
“Very, very special for me and the team,” said Venturi in the post-race interview. “Yesterday (in Saturday) it was disappointing, so I want to win today. It’s a very intense race. I don’t understand, but my tire didn’t hold very well, so it’s very nice for me and for the team. We got a third place and a win in the second race (last year), so we’re very confident For Brands Hatch.”
Justin Kunz – No. 99 Dexwet DF1 Racing
Kunz had a strong weekend at Franciacorta. Despite track limit violations hampered his Qualifying runs, he would rebound to finish fourth in Race 1. The fourth-place finish in Race 1 plus a seventh-place finish in Race 2 would saw him climb up to fourth place in the Drivers Championship. Here’s what Kunz had to say in Dexwet DF1 Racing’s post-race press release:
“I was sick the whole week and therefore not at 100 percent,” said Kunz in the press release. “Due to the crash (of Ellen Lohr and Mauro Trione) at Valencia, we had to rely on a new car. We first had to learn how to handle the new parts. We tried a lot in the practice sessions but we didn’t find the right way. After a lot of work we managed to put up a good car for qualifying.
My best time (in Superpole) was unfortunately cancelled because of track limits. I don’t agree with that. Luckily we finished fourth in the race, but due to the retirements and safety car phases there was also some luck because it’s so difficult to overtake here in Italy. In the second race I got stuck behind Bert Longin. Fortunately, there was a situation where I could pass. In the end I finished seventh. We proved that we can win. I’m really happy for Lasse, who clinched his first victory.”
Myatt Snider – No. 48 Racing Engineering
While the race results at Valencia proved to be rather disappointing for Snider after he showed a very strong pace in the No. 48 Mustang, in Franciacorta Snider would be able to rebound as a second-place finish in Race 1 and a sixth-place finish in Race 2 would saw the American climb up to sixth in the Drivers Championship after the races were over. Here’s what the 2018 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Rookie of the Year had to say to Mark Werrell after his podium finish in Saturday’s race:
“I had problems with the handling of the car at first,” said Snider. “But then it really came to me towards the middle of the race and right after that, the safety car (came out), so kudos to the Racing Engineering guys for bringing such a great Ford Performance Ford Mustang, and that was a lot of fun to me personally as I was actually able to bring my American stock car flavour here and not get everybody mad about it, so that made me happy. I did a crazy three-wide pass, didn’t get into anybody and end up getting second from it, so I’m pretty happy with today.
He (Giorgio Maggi) was really pressuring me, and there was places where he was stronger than me and there’s places where I was stronger than him, so we just trying to kept capitalizing from that. It was good old-fashioned racing and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Andre Castro – No. 24 PK Carsport
Castro’s week in Franciacorta turned out to be extremely similar to Valencia. He led the most laps in Race 1 before he was forced out of the contention late in the race, this time due to a mechanical failure with two laps to go before Castro rebounds himself to finish second in Race 2. Here’s what Castro had to say to Mark Werrell in the post-race interview:
“We got the same result that we got in Valencia,” said Castro post-race. “Second (overall) and first in the Rookie Trophy, so obviously it’s a great result for us. Our first win is just around the corner, and man, I really want it, but second place is always really good for the championship and if we keep getting podiums like this and get rid of some of the bad luck, we’ll definitely be in for the championship.
We already had 2 bad results, so we really can’t afford more than that, but we’re just going to keep riding in this form, hopefully with a little bit of a momentum we’ll get it (the win) next race. Brands Hatch is going to be crazy, it’s the track where I’m most excited to go to. It’s going to be awesome for the English fans, and I can’t wait. It’s not that much of the wait, I’ll be preparing, I’ll be ready, show up there, and try to win.”
Pierluigi Veronesi – No. 27 Alex Caffi Motorsport
Yet another solid weekend for the 30-year old Italian, as a top 10 finish in Race 1, combined with a 13th place finish in Race 2 would saw Veronesi came out from Franciacorta in third place in the Drivers Championship with 110 points, 27 points behind championship leader Giorgio Maggi. Here’s what Veronesi had to say in his official website (original article is in Italian):
“It’s a positive weekend if I would describe it,” said Veronesi. “Making the Superpole and being in the Top 10 in both races was my goal. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the case, but we completed both races and here, in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, it’s not easy! Of course, I would have like to do more for the fans and sponsors, but I am aware of where our potential is. However, we gave them a show and now we are third in the league.”
Claudio Remigio Cappelli – No. 42 42 Racing by FS Motorsports
Cappelli’s first NASCAR Whelen Euro Series week, while not as impressive as Lasse Sorensen’s, turned out to be a pretty good one. He was a strong contender in the upper-midfield in both races, and while he ultimately had to retire in Race 1 after going off in the last corner late in the race, he would claim a top 10 finish in Race 2 to close out a good first NASCAR race week for him and 42 Racing. Here’s what Cappelli had to say to Mark Werrell post-race:
“I had a lot of fun racing in NASCAR,” said Cappelli in the interview. “NASCAR is enjoyed by a lot of Americans, so I’m very proud to be part of this season. It’s a great feeling. The car is amazing, it’s like an old car, pure power. It’s hard to explain, but it’s great to drive. I have to say thanks to the team to let me (work) for this. The car was great, they let me to try and upgrade the performance during the weekend, so it was very great for me.”
Photos are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.