The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series returns this week for the inaugural OMV MaxxMotion NASCAR Show, the first Euro Series race week held in Czech Republic and the fourth round of the 2019 season. Saturday’s activities started with the Qualifying session for both the Elite 1 and the Elite 2 class and in the Elite 1 class, it is Nicolò Rocca that secures the first position on the grid to claim his first pole position since 2015.
Rocca’s lap time of 1:41.431 in Superpole was 0.032 seconds faster than Loris Hezemans, who will accompany Rocca in the front row. Behind them in the second row of the grid is Alon Day and Stienes Longin, who were 0.382 and 0.541 seconds slower than Rocca’s pole setting lap time.
“It felt great,” said Rocca to Mark Werrell in the post-qualifying interview. “Since yesterday I had a good feeling with the car and the track, and this morning I woke up and I was just thinking about the pole. I think we had the car to do that and the PK (Carsport) guys has worked incredibly well so far this season, and I really want to start giving them a good result, so I was fully focused, made a good lap, and it was enough for the pole.”
Jacques Villeneuve completes the Top 5 after coming in second in the first Qualifying session. JV will be accompanied by Lucas Lasserre in the third row of the grid. Thomas Ferrando, who is racing for CAAL Racing this week, starts seventh ahead of Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, who had his best qualifying performance of this season so far.
Francesco Sini and the returning Christophe Bouchut completes the Top 10. Henri Tuomaala, who have been very fast all week long, will start Race 1 in 11th ahead of Brands Hatch Race 2 winner Frédéric Gabillon, who completes the 12 drivers who took part in Superpole in 12th place.
Alexander Graff just misses out on the Superpole in 13th, ahead of Gianmarco Ercoli, who wasn’t able to translate the pace he had in Practice into a strong Qualifying pace. Also struggling in Qualifying were the Racing Engineering drivers and Ulysse Delsaux. Ander Vilariño and Romain Iannetta only qualified in 15th and 18th respectively while Delsaux had a good early Qualifying pace, but he was caught out by the track evolution and would eventually dropped down to 16th place in the end.
Salvador Tineo Arroyo slots in between Delsaux and Iannetta in 17th, while home driver Martin Doubek and Kenko Miura completes the Top 20 in Qualifying. Eric de Doncker, Mauro Trione, Ellen Lohr, and Dario Caso – who did not set a lap time – completes the rest of the field.
|1.||Nicolò Rocca (24)||1:41.715||1:41.431|
|2.||Loris Hezemans (50)||1:41.328||1:41.463|
|3.||Alon Day (54)||1:41.780||1:41.813|
|4.||Stienes Longin (11)||1:41.888||1:41.972|
|5.||Jacques Villeneuve (32)||1:41.594||1:42.036|
|6.||Lucas Lasserre (33)||1:42.286||1:42.160|
|7.||Thomas Ferrando (27)||1:41.919||1:42.187|
|8.||Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (69)||1:42.145||1:42.319|
|9.||Francesco Sini (12)||1:42.470||1:42.530|
|10.||Christophe Bouchut (1)||1:42.110||1:42.566|
|11.||Henri Tuomaala (23)||1:42.265||1:42.641|
|12.||Frédéric Gabillon (3)||1:42.440||1:42.724|
|13.||Alexander Graff (77)||1:42.567||–|
|14.||Gianmarco Ercoli (9)||1:42.601||–|
|15.||Ander Vilariño (48)||1:42.626||–|
|16.||Ulysse Delsaux (36)||1:42.807||–|
|17.||Salvador Tineo Arroyo (70)||1:42.883||–|
|18.||Romain Iannetta (88)||1:42.908||–|
|19.||Martin Doubek (7)||1:43.004||–|
|20.||Kenko Miura (2)||1:43.339||–|
|21.||Eric de Doncker (98)||1:43.622||–|
|22.||Mauro Trione (31)||1:44.061||–|
|23.||Ellen Lohr (99)||1:45.330||–|
|24.||Dario Caso (8)||No Time||–|
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. All qualifying and 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.