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 2 class, 26 drivers are ready to compete in the first edition of the Autodrom Most NASCAR Show. The Elite 2 class has gained a reputation over the years as a class that can be totally unpredictable, and with Most being a completely new territory for the drivers and the teams, the chances of having an unpredictable weekend at Most goes even higher.

A driver that best exemplifies the unpredictability of the Elite 2 class this season is Lasse Sørensen. His debut in Franciacorta results in him getting a victory on his very first NASCAR Euro race and in Race 1 at Brands Hatch, he made history as he becomes the first Euro Series driver to win a race after starting from last of the grid.

In addition, despite missing the season opening round at Valencia, Sørensen has already climbed up to 5th place in the Drivers Championship thanks to his astonishing record of 3 wins in just 4 starts. With Sørensen arguably being the driver to beat in Elite 2 this season, expect him to become a force to be reckoned with once more in Most.

Photo courtesy of Michael Großgarten

Another driver that also has been a good example of proving the unpredictability of the Elite 2 class this season is Advait Deodhar. The defending Elite Club champion has done a stellar job in his full-season debut in Elite 2, as one podium, two Top 5 and a further two Top 10 finishes has allowed him to sit in an unexpected 3rd place in the Drivers Championship. He managed to achieve all of this despite having to drive for 3 teams already this season, further showing that Deodhar has what it takes to compete with the best drivers in the Elite 2 class.

Having only been added to the Entry List on Tuesday after he secured enough funding to compete this week, Deodhar will be hoping that he can have another solid performance this week to not only solidify his position as one of the Championship contenders, but also to impress any potential sponsors that can help finance Deodhar’s racing career further.

Returning this week after missing the previous round at Brands Hatch due to an injury is the home driver Martin Doubek. Doubek had impressed in Valencia with a podium finish in Race 1 and a further 5th place finish in Race 2 at Ricardo Tormo that puts him in 3rd place in the Championship, but a troubled week at Franciacorta and the subsequent injury that forces him to miss Brands Hatch has dropped him way down the order in the Championship.

Doubek, who will come with a huge advantage as one of the very few drivers to have driven at Most before, will be hoping that he can use his home track advantage to score a podium finish or perhaps even a surprise victory in front of his home crowd.

Doubek’s teammate, Giorgio Maggi, is hoping that he can use the data Hendriks Motorsport has gained from Doubek’s experience at Most to a good use this week. Maggi has certainly been one of the standouts of the season, and the Championship leader looks forward to having another strong result in Most before going to Goodwood the following week to drive Hendriks’ No. 50 Mustang on the famed hillclimb stage.

Maggi’s closest contender in the Championship right now, Vittorio Ghirelli, will have a new look this week as he will be moving to PK Carsport to drive the team’s No. 11 Camaro for Most. Ghirelli briefly took the lead in the Championship at Brands Hatch after Maggi was hit with a drive-through penalty in Race 1, and while he ultimately lost the lead to Maggi once again after Maggi scored a podium in Race 2, Ghirelli will be hoping that the move to PK Carsport at Most will provide the extra edge he needed to overcome the 4-points deficit that he currently have on Maggi in the Championship.

Ghirelli’s replacement at the No. 9 Racers Motorsport team, Alessandro Brigatti, is hoping that he can prove that his strong performance in Brands Hatch was not a fluke. Brigatti has shown good pace this season, but a string of mechanical failures in the No. 19 Camaro has prevented him to show what he really can do until his double Top 10 performances at Brands Hatch. A double Top 10 finish and qualifying for the Superpole will be a realistic goal for Brigatti in his first week in the No. 9 team.

Andre Castro will arrive at Most with the hope that for once, he won’t have to do his current “routine” of having a troubled Race 1 that would be followed with a second-place finish in Race 2. Having only lost out to Lasse Sorensen for the win on the penultimate lap of Race 2 at Brands Hatch, Castro will be hoping that he can shed some of his bad luck to finally get that elusive first win in the Euro Series.

Photo courtesy of Myatt Snider on Facebook

Myatt Snider will also hope that he can shed some of his bad luck at Most. Last time out in Brands Hatch, he had an eventful week with an off-track excursion at Clearways during Superpole and a spin at Druids in Race 1 after Castro collided with the rear of his car on the restart. Snider, who recently became the substitute driver for the suspended Johnny Sauter in the No. 13 Tenda Ford F-150 for ThorSport Racing at the Truck race in Gateway, is also hoping that he can close the 38-point deficit that he currently have to Maggi to keep his Championship hopes alive.

Pierluigi Veronesi is going to have a tough task of defending his place in the Top 5 of the Championship. While the Alex Caffi Motorsport driver has showed that he has the consistency with a considerably trouble-free season so far, he has not been able to of match up with the top drivers in the current field in terms of finishing results. With Sorensen, Castro, Snider, and Justin Kunz all being less than 5 points behind Veronesi in the Championship, it will be a very tough – but not impossible – job for Veronesi to stay inside the Top 5 in the Championship after the weekend at Most is over.

Florian Venturi is hoping that the lady of luck will be siding with him at Most. Last time out in Brands Hatch, his bad luck strikes again as he lost out on what could have been a double victory for him after a broken gearbox in Race 1 and multiple missed gear shifts in Race 2 dropped him out of the contention. With Venturi having a 63 points deficit in the Championship already, Venturi will be worried that another luckless weekend in Most can be the start of the end of his Championship hopes for this season.

In the Legend Trophy, it has been a close fight so far with Ian Eric Wadén, Mirco Shultis, Michael Bleekemolen, and Jerry de Weerdt all having their turns as the winner and leader of the Legend Trophy this season. Braxx Racing’s withdrawal from Most, however, meant that Waden, Schultis, and Bleekemolen will be looking to get every advantage that they can get at Most if they want to beat Jerry de Weerdt and become the new Legend Trophy champion at the end of the season.

Apart from the Ghirelli-Brigatti musical chairs and Braxx Racing’s withdrawal, there isn’t too many changes in the Elite 2 grid this week. The only other notable change in the grid will be the debut of Italian driver Bernardo Maffei, who is scheduled to make his debut in 42 Racing by FS Motorsport’s No. 42 Mustang for 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 5:00 PM CET on Saturday for Race 1, and at 10:15 AM 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 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.

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