The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series returns this week for the American SpeedFest, the third round of the 2019 season. Qualifying started the on-track activities for the NASCAR Euro teams yesterday, and in Elite 2 it was Andre Castro that would claim his first Elite 2 Pole Position to make it a double Pole Position for PK Carsport for Race 1 in the 2019 American SpeedFest.

Castro’s lap time of 49.281 in Superpole proved to be the time that he needed to become the pole sitter for Elite 2 Race 1. It was a mighty impressive run for him, as his time – along with the time of 49.385 set by runner-up Florian Venturi – was faster than the fastest qualifying time set by the Elite 1 drivers across their respective Qualifying 1 and Superpole sessions.

“I don’t know what to say, I’m so excited,” said Castro to Mark Werrell in the post-qualifying interview. “Like you always dream about the pole, it’s like close in comparison to the excitement towards winning the race. Its just that one lap, that you know you have given everything. That one lap, six corners, so you have to be so focused. Finally in the end, we managed to get some pretty decent lap, and we’re going to start from the front row, so I’m really excited, these guys gave me an amazing car, and we’ll see what we can do during the race.”

Third and fourth in Elite 2 Qualifying coincidentally would have the same story as in their Elite 1 counterpart. Championship leader Giorgio Maggi qualified in third, with the Swiss setting a lap time of 49.466 ahead of Freddy Nordström, who despite leading Qualifying 1 with a lap time of 49.529, can only manage a 4th place result with a lap time of 49.491.

Similar to Elite 1 Qualifying, the third row of the grid will be an all-Italian row, as Nicholas Risitano claimed the fifth spot with a lap time of 49.785, just 0.006 seconds ahead of his teammate Vittorio Ghirelli. Scott Jeffs was the best of the home drivers in Qualifying, with the driver from Stratford finishing in third in Qualifying 1 before eventually qualified in seventh with a lap time of 49.823.

Advait Deodhar continued his impressive run so far this season after qualifying eighth with a lap time of 50.025, ahead of Myatt Snider who had an off-track excursion at the Clark Curve in the Superpole session. Justin Kunz completes the Top 10 in a strong rebound from him after issues in Friday put him firmly in the Bottom 5 throughout Friday’s Practice sessions.

Track evolution played a huge role in the first Qualifying session, as many drivers set their fastest lap times late in Qualifying 1 in hopes for them to get a chance to enter the Superpole. In the end, it was Jesse Vartiainen and Thomas Krasonis that would get the chance to take part in the Superpole, with the Alex Caffi Motorsport duo ultimately filled row 6 of the grid for Saturday’s race.

Alessandro Brigatti barely missed the Superpole in a mighty impressive qualifying effort for him and the No. 19 Racers Motorsport team. Brigatti would finish ahead of third-place man in the championship Pierluigi Veronesi, who can only qualify in 14th ahead of the series’ youngest-ever driver Ben Creanor. Brigatti, Veronesi, and Creanor were among the many drivers that set their best lap times late in Qualifying 1 in a bid to enter the Superpole session at Brands Hatch, but they all would missed the Superpole after Vartiainen and Krasonis bettered their lap times in the end.

Shaun Hollamby would make an all-English lockout in row 8 with his 16th place Qualifying effort, ahead of Freddie Hemborg and Eric Clément. Michael Bleekemolen would led the Legend Trophy drivers with his 19th place Qualifying effort, while Mirco Schultis completes the Top 20 in Qualifying.

Eric De Doncker qualified 21st ahead of Naveh Talor, who had a massive engine failure around 7 minutes into Qualifying 1 that would cause the Qualifying 1 session to be red flagged to clean up the oil that his No. 12 Solaris Camaro dropped to the track throughout the main straight and Paddock Hill.

Jerry de Weerdt, Ian Eric Wadén, Arianna Casoli, and Matthias Hauer filled positions 23rd to 26th on the grid as Lasse Sørensen was forced to start from dead last in Saturday’s race as the broken prop shaft in Elite 1 Superpole meant that Sørensen couldn’t set any lap time during the 20-minute long Elite 2 Qualifying 1 session.

All NASCAR Whelen Euro Series qualifying and races for this season are going to be aired live on FansChoice.tv, Motorsport.tv, and the official Facebook page and YouTube channel of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.

Full Qualifying Results

RANK DRIVER QUALIFYING 1 SUPERPOLE
1. Andre Castro (24) 50.035 49.281
2. Florian Venturi (32) 49.761 49.385
3. Giorgio Maggi (50) 49.936 49.466
4. Freddy Nordström (11) 49.529 49.491
5. Nicholas Risitano (8) 49.909 49.785
6. Vittorio Ghirelli (9) 49.948 49.791
7. Scott Jeffs (90) 49.839 49.823
8. Advait Deodhar (31) 50.143 50.025
9. Myatt Snider (48) 50.017 50.127
10. Justin Kunz (99) 49.818 50.137
11. Jesse Vartiainen (2) 50.248 50.347
12. Thomas Krasonis (1) 50.278 50.426
13. Alessandro Brigatti (19) 50.285
14. Pierluigi Veronesi (27) 50.335
15. Ben Creanor (33) 50.354
16. Shaun Hollamby (46) 50.383
17. Freddie Hemborg (77) 50.406
18. Eric Clement (88) 50.550
19. Michael Bleekemolen (69) 50.572
20. Mirco Schultis (70) 50.593
21. Eric De Doncker (98) 50.598
22. Naveh Talor (12) 50.609
23. Jerry De Weerdt (78) 50.752
24. Ian Eric Wadén (23) 50.857
25. Arianna Casoli (54) 52.395
26. Matthias Hauer (64) 52.536
27. Lasse Sørensen (66) No Time

Unless noted, photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.

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