The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series returns to action this week for the inaugural NASCAR GP of Czech Republic, the Autodrom Most NASCAR Show at Autodrom Most. This will be the first officially sanctioned NASCAR race that will be held in Czech Republic. With a track length of 4.222 km, Most will be the longest circuit in the 2019 season calendar.
In the Elite 1 class, 28 drivers are ready to compete to become the inaugural winners of the Autodrom Most NASCAR Show. Given that this will be the first Euro Series race to be held here and nearly every driver has no experience with driving the Euro Series cars on the fast and demanding layout of Most, there will be a lot of questions to answer as the drivers and teams will enter an unknown territory for this weekend.
Once again, Alon Day will enter Most as the driver with the most momentum behind him. Last time out in Brands Hatch, Day was able to secure his 20th career Euro Series victory in Race 1 before finishing third in Race 2 to further extend his lead in the Drivers Championship. The Israeli will be hoping that he can continue to extend his lead in the Championship as he looks to potentially tie Ander Vilariño’s record of 22 victories in the Elite 1 class of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
Day’s closest Championship challenger, Stienes Longin, is coming to Most with a goal to erase some of the gap that Day has built to him in the Championship. At Brands Hatch, Stienes came close to win in both races, but ultimately lost out to Alon Day and Frederic Gabillon in Race 1 and Race 2 respectively. Given that Stienes has showed incredible pace and consistency this season with 4 second place finishes already, it’s only a matter of time before Stienes will get his first career Elite 1 race win.
Stienes’ teammate, Nicolò Rocca, is also looking to continue the momentum that he has built at Brands Hatch after he scored his first podium since his return to full-time competition in the Euro Series in Race 1 at Brands Hatch. A chance to score a double podium finish looks to be a realistic goal for him, and Rocca certainly wouldn’t pass any opportunity to score his first win in the series since 2015.
Loris Hezemans will be looking to forget a tough weekend at Brands Hatch. A late-race spin after contact with Marc Goossens in Race 1 and a drive-through penalty for jumping the restart in Race 2 denied him from what would have been a strong Top 5 finishes in Brands Hatch. Hezemans will be hoping that the data that Hendriks Motorsport have earned from their private test at Most with Martin Doubek earlier in the month will be able to give him the extra edge he needed to close the gap to Alon Day in the Championship.
After a tough start to the season, Frédéric Gabillon will be glad that he has showed that RDV Competition still has what it takes to score a race win as shown last time out in Brands Hatch. Gabillon admitted that RDV has struggled with adapting to the new General Tire tires and he will be looking to find some pace and get some consistent results on the upcoming weekend in Most.
Once again, Ander Vilariño did not have the weekend that he would like to have at Brands Hatch. A poor qualifying, combined with an early retirement in Race 1, has made Vilariño lost even more ground to Alon Day in the Championship. With Vilariño now 55 points behind Day in the Championship, he will be looking to get every inch of result that he can get if he wants to stay in the Championship hunt as the season comes closer to the double-points playoffs.
Martin Doubek, the sole Czech representative in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, will be hoping that the injuries that he suffered at Franciacorta won’t affect him for his home race. Being forced to miss Brands Hatch due to said injury, Doubek will be hoping to maximize his big advantage as one of the very few drivers to have driven at Most before.
Romain Iannetta and Gianmarco Ercoli will arrive to Most looking to score their first Top 5 finishes of the season. After a tough start to the season for two retirements in the first four races, both Iannetta and Ercoli scored a double Top 10 finish in Brands Hatch and is hoping that they can become a surprise podium challenger for Most.
Lasse Sørensen will be looking to build up from his heroic comeback effort in Race 2 at Brands Hatch. He has proved that he has no problems with doing the double duty in the No. 66 team at Brands Hatch and given the insane momentum that he currently has in the series across both classes, Sørensen is a driver that could potentially steal a podium result in just his second Elite 1 race week.
For Memphis Racing’s Henri Tuomaala, his goal at Most will be to continue to lead the Challenger Trophy. Having scored a double Challenger Trophy victory in Brands Hatch to make it 4 Challenger Trophy wins out of 6, he has proved to be the driver to beat in this year’s Challenger Trophy and is hoping that he will be able to reinforce his 23-points gap to Dario Caso in the Challenger Trophy at Most.
There will be several driver changes for Most. Christophe Bouchut, who had left Dexwet-DF1 midway through the Franciacorta weekend due to safety and personal reasons, will be returning to the series to compete in Alex Caffi Motorsport’s No. 1 Mustang for Most.
Salvador Tineo Arroyo will replace Eric Filgueiras in the No. 70 Mishumotors team for Most after Speedhouse 64 decided to not enter Most, while Luigi Ferrara returns to the track as 42 Racing will made their first appearance since Franciacorta.
Marc Goossens and Alex Sedgwick, currently ninth and 15th in the Championship respectively, will not made an appearance this week after Braxx Racing decided to withdraw both of their cars from Most.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will hit the track for Round 7 and Round 8 of the 2019 season on 29 June and 30 June respectively. The green flag for this year’s edition of Autodrom Most NASCAR Show will be waved at 1:25 PM CET on Saturday for Race 1, and at 2:25 PM CET on Sunday for Race 2.
All races for this season will be aired live on FansChoice.tv, Motorsport.tv, and the official Facebook page and YouTube channel of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.