Lasse Sørensen’s incredible debut in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series continues as the Dane scored his third victory in just fourth start on yesterday’s Race 2. After winning from last place on Saturday’s Race 1, Sørensen passed Andre Castro for the lead on the penultimate lap in yesterday’s race to sweep the weekend at Brands Hatch to cement himself as the “Prince of Brands Hatch” at the American SpeedFest.
Starting from fifth on the grid, Sørensen quickly made his way to third and when Florian Venturi got into trouble again on the restart after the only Safety Car period of day in Elite 2, he made his way up to second and started to pressure the new race leader Andre Castro into making a mistake. Ultimately on the penultimate lap, Castro locked up his brakes at Druids and exited the corner wide enough for Sørensen to make a move at Graham Hill Bend. Despite making some contact with Castro, that move was enough for him to win the race and sweep the weekend at Brands Hatch.
“I didn’t expect when we were done with Qualifying that we will be able to win two time here,” said Sørensen to series commentator Mark Werrell in the post-race interview. “That’s unbelievable and thanks to all the mechanics and the whole team at Dexwet-DF1 and to my sponsor Flexlease. Without them, this will not be a possibility for me, so I’m really glad for them.”
Andre Castro, for the third consecutive race week, ends up finishing second in Race 2 after he encountered problems in Race 1. Starting from fourth, he moved up to second early on in the race and when Florian Venturi encountered problems after the Safety Car period, Castro was able to move up to the lead before ultimately losing it to Sorensen in the penultimate lap.
“It’s really disappointing, but also it’s kind of a relief,” said Castro to Mark Werrell in the post-race interview. “It’s literally in the program, outside of the Top 15 in Saturday and second in Sunday, so it’s becoming more of a routine right now. I just didn’t defend enough when I had to. I should have closed the door more and he (Sørensen) got through with some contact but that was fair. At the end of the day, I’m really happy for the guys and happy that they give me a good car.”
Giorgio Maggi would complete the podium in Race 2 to reclaim the Drivers Championship lead from Vittorio Ghirelli. Starting in second, Maggi was overtaken by Castro and Sørensen before Venturi’s problems meant that he was able to get pass Venturi on Lap 25 to claim the final podium spot of the day.
“It was really tough, especially in the start when we lost a place,” said Maggi in the post-race interview. “This track is always hard to get the position back. I’m happy though that I’m still leading the championship after yesterday’s race was a little bit critical. It was a lot of fun and a really tough race.”
Florian Venturi’s luck again besets him in today’s race. After leading the majority of the race from pole position, he missed a gear at the Cooper Straight on the restart on Lap 24, which would cost him the lead from Castro and Sørensen before another mis-shift in Cooper Straight on the following lap would cost him the podium, leaving Venturi to contend with a 4th place finish in Race 2.
After being denied of his first podium in the Euro Series on Saturday due to pushing Vittorio Ghirelli wide into the gravel trap, Scott Jeffs recovered well to score his first Top 5 finish in the series as he completes the Top 5 in Sunday’s race. Advait Deodhar once again had a solid race, running in the top 5 for the majority of the race and ran as high as fourth before ultimately finishing in sixth to close out his best week in the Euro Series so far.
Myatt Snider closed his week at Brands Hatch with a 7th place finish in Race 2, ahead of Nicholas Risitano who was 2nd in the early stages of the race before he ran wide at Graham Hill Bend on Lap 13 and with Risitano’s No. 8 Camaro losing pace towards the end of the race, he would ultimately had to contend with an 8th place finish.
NasKart champion Alessandro Brigatti completes his excellent weekend in Brands Hatch with a 9th place finish in Race 2 ahead of then-Championship leader Vittorio Ghirelli, who completes the Top 10. Jesse Vartiainen’s solid week continues with another 11th place finish for the Finn ahead of fellow Scandinavians Freddie Hemborg and Freddy Nordström in 12th and 13th respectively.
Justin Kunz was unable to continue the Top 10 pace that he showed early in the race and would only finish in 14th ahead of Pierluigi Veronesi, who completes the Top 15 to stay in fourth in the Drivers Championship for the time being. Naveh Talor grabbed the 4 bonus Championship points for the most positions gained after he recovered from last to 16th in the race, with Ben Creanor completing his first home NASCAR GP with a 17th place finish.
Ian Eric Wadén would claim his second Legend Trophy victory this season with an 18th place finish, with Mirco Schultis in 19th and Michael Bleekemolen in 20th completes both the Top 20 and the Legend Trophy podium. Arianna Casoli finished in 21st ahead of Thomas Krasonis, who ran a solid Top 20 race before his race got compromised after taking Shaun Hollamby out and having to serve a Drive Through penalty, which would ultimately dropped him to 22nd place.
Eric Clément initially finished 18th on the road, but he was demoted to 23rd after receiving a 30-second time penalty for colliding with Jerry de Weerdt on the final lap, which would denied him of his first Legend Trophy victory of the year. He also had his race compromised after having a spin at Druids on Lap 14. Matthias Hauer in 24th was the first of the only two retirements of the day after he pulled to the pits on the penultimate lap, ahead of Jerry de Weerdt who finished as the last car still running in 25th place, one lap down from the leaders.
Shaun Hollamby was the only other retirement of the race after he was punted to the tire barriers on the entry of Druids on Lap 15, which would become the cause the only Safety Car period of the day. Eric De Doncker was the only non-starter of the race, with the Belgian unable to take the start after he felt unwell and ultimately decided to not race due to physical concerns.
Full Race Results
|POS||GRID||DRIVER||LAPS||TIME / GAP|
|1.||5||Lasse Sørensen (66)||30||28:52.227|
|2.||4||Andre Castro (24)||30||+ 0.421|
|3.||2||Giorgio Maggi (50)||30||+ 0.772|
|4.||1||Florian Venturi (32)||30||+ 1.179|
|5.||8||Scott Jeffs (90)||30||+ 2.953|
|6.||6||Advait Deodhar (31)||30||+ 4.665|
|7.||9||Myatt Snider (48)||30||+ 5.395|
|8.||3||Nicholas Risitano (8)||30||+ 5.796|
|9.||12||Alessandro Brigatti (19)||30||+ 6.322|
|10.||10||Vittorio Ghirelli (9)||30||+ 7.909|
|11.||11||Jesse Vartiainen (2)||30||+ 8.481|
|12.||15||Freddie Hemborg (77)||30||+ 8.937|
|13.||7||Freddy Nordström (11)||30||+ 9.342|
|14.||11||Justin Kunz (99)||30||+ 9.830|
|15.||19||Pierluigi Veronesi (27)||30||+ 10.250|
|16.||27||Naveh Talor (12)||30||+ 12.208|
|17.||24||Ben Creanor (33)||30||+ 14.251|
|18.||23||Ian Eric Wadén (23)||30||+ 15.130|
|19.||20||Mirco Schultis (70)||30||+ 15.734|
|20.||17||Michael Bleekemolen (69)||30||+ 16.219|
|21.||26||Arianna Casoli (54)||30||+ 20.759|
|22.||14||Thomas Krasonis (1)||30||+ 31.677|
|23.||16||Eric Clément (88)||30||+ 44.464 1|
|24.||25||Matthias Hauer (64)||29||DNF (Mechanical)|
|25.||22||Jerry de Weerdt (78)||29||+ 1 Lap|
|26.||21||Shaun Hollamby (46)||15||DNF (Collision)|
|27.||18||Eric De Doncker (98)||0||DNS (Physical)|
1 Eric Clément initially finished 18th, but he received a 30-second time penalty after causing a collision with Jerry de Weerdt on the last lap.
In the Drivers Championship, Giorgio Maggi would reclaim the championship lead from Vittorio Ghirelli with his podium finish at the Sunday race. Maggi now leads with 196 points while Ghirelli was four points back with 192 points. Advait Deodhar jumped to third place in the championship with 172 points, replacing Pierluigi Veronesi who dropped to fourth with 160 points.
Amazingly, despite not taking part in Valencia, Sørensen’s astonishing string of results meant that he will came out of Brands Hatch in fifth place in the championship. Sørensen is tied with Myatt Snider and Justin Kunz with 158 points, but Sørensen wins the tiebreaker by a far margin as he has a best result of his 3 wins compared to Snider’s second place finish at Franciacorta Race 1 and Kunz’s best finish of 4th also at Franciacorta Race 1.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series would hold the non-championship All Star Time Attack at Chinon on 22-23 June before returning for the fourth round of the season, the first ever NASCAR Whelen Euro Series race at Autodrom Most in Czech Republic the next wek on 29-30 June.
All races and qualifying session of this season will be streamed live in FansChoice.tv, Motorsport.tv, and the official Facebook page and YouTube channel of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, with full race and qualifying replay available to be viewed at NWES’ YouTube channel.
Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.