Giorgio Maggi wins yesterday’s Elite 2 race at Autodrom Most to become the first Euro Series race winner at Czech Republic despite nearly not starting the race due to the colossal engine failure suffered by Loris Hezemans in Elite 1’s Saturday race. This is Maggi’s second victory of the season, as well as the second in his career.
Starting from pole, Maggi had to work hard to get his win at Most as Lasse Sørensen was able to keep him honest all race long. While he had a carburetor problem in his replacement engine, Maggi was able to stay in the lead for the entirety of the race to score the win at Most, despite nearly losing it on the final lap with a lock up coming to the chicane at Turns 1 and 2.
“It was an eventful day with the performance of Loris,” said Maggi to Mark Werrell in the post-race interview. “He had an engine failure in the last four laps, so the team had to be hurry to get the other engine back running so I can drive in the race because there wasn’t much time. But, that’s what I really appreciate about the team because they never ask questions like can we do it or doubt it, they just did it, and it worked out. The engine was running, even though it was close and almost didn’t make it. We had some problems with the throttle, but what a race.”
For Lasse Sørensen, he will be feeling happy that he extended his 100% podium finish rate in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Sørensen has been the sensation of the season and the second-place finish that he got in Race 1 will solidify his place in the Championship as he will clear away from the three-way tiebreaker between him, Myatt Snider, and Justin Kunz in the Championship.
“Its always good to be on the podium,” said Sørensen to Mark Werrell in the post-race interview. “First of all, I always want to win but when it’s not possible, second place is the best position I can get right now. We have some problems in Qualifying which meant we were a bit off the pace. I’m very happy that we were able to find the pace here for the race and we were actually able to fight with Maggi during the race. Very happy for the whole team, and again thanks to the whole team for making such a great car as well my sponsors back home.”
Finishing third is Andre Castro, who finally had a strong result in the Saturday race. Castro initially was able to stay close to Maggi and Sørensen, but he slowly fell away from the two leaders as Castro wasn’t able to maintain the early pace that he has in his No. 24 Camaro, but he will be feeling happy with his fourth podium finish of the season.
“We finally got a good result on Saturday,” said Castro to Mark Werrell in the post-race interview. “That’s all what we wanted, so really happy with the results. Qualified third and then hold that strong during the race. I think we have a little bit more, make a couple of tweaks and see if we do have enough to catch the leaders tomorrow. I definitely think they’re in reach tomorrow. I’m excited to get back out there tomorrow and see what we can do.”
The race itself was marred with a heavy incident between Alessandro Brigatti and Jesse Vartiainen in the penultimate corner on the first lap. As the field comes down to Turn 20 on Lap 1, Vartiainen collides with the rear of Brigatti, sending both cars into a spin into the tire barrier that damages both the front-left corner of Vartiainen’s car and the rear end of Brigatti’s car. The collision would be the cause of the only Safety Car period of the race as the marshals need to move the stricken cars of Brigatti and Vartiainen away from the gravel trap.
Once the race resumed on Lap 8, it was Maggi who had the best launch in the restart as he was able to maintain the lead coming out of the chicane as some of the midfield drivers collided when the field bunches up for the chicane. Pierluigi Veronesi and Eric Clément was punted to the barrier exiting Turn 2 and both drivers were out of the race on the spot, while Ian Eric Wadén and Naveh Talor suffered puncture and collision damage respectively that would become the cause their retirement on lap 9 and lap 10 respectively.
As the lead pack of Maggi, Sørensen, and Castro began to make a gap on the field, a five-car battle for fourth to eighth position between Advait Deodhar, Martin Doubek, Justin Kunz, Vittorio Ghirelli, and Nicholas Risitano was forming as the drivers are battling and doing their best to get the best result possible. Ultimately it was Deodhar that wins the 5-car battle to claim P4 as Justin Kunz was able to get past home driver Martin Doubek to complete the Top 5.
Doubek finished sixth as Ghirelli was able to claim P7 after he passed former teammate Risitano in the turn 1-2 chicane at the start of Lap 11. Risitano finished in eighth as Freddie Hemborg and Myatt Snider finished in 9th and 10th respectively to complete the Top 10 in the Saturday race.
Eric de Doncker, who was pushed wide to the gravel trap during the first lap that dropped him down the order, was able to fight back to finish in 11th to claim his first Legend Trophy victory of the season. Ben Creanor had a quietly splendid race as he finished in 12th ahead of Mirco Schultis and Michael Bleekemolen, who will complete the Legend Trophy podium with their 13th and 14th place finish.
Arianna Casoli, despite being so off the pace, was able to claim a 15th place finish as the last car still on the lead lap. Thomas Krasonis, finishing 4 laps down from the leaders in 16th place after not taking the initial start, is the last car still running in the race.
Naveh Talor’s collision damage retirement would saw him classified in 17th, ahead of Ian Eric Wadén who was classified in 18th. Veronesi and Clément completes the Top 20 in 19th and 20th place respectively as Brigatti and Vartiainen became the last two drivers classified in 21st and 22nd place.
Full Race Results
|POS||GRID||DRIVER||LAPS||TIME / GAP|
|1.||1||Giorgio Maggi (50)||14||31:05.115|
|2.||2||Lasse Sørensen (66)||14||+ 0.747|
|3.||3||Andre Castro (24)||14||+ 5.267|
|4.||5||Advait Deodhar (31)||14||+ 11.735|
|5.||12||Justin Kunz (99)||14||+ 12.862|
|6.||5||Martin Doubek (7)||14||+ 12.862|
|7.||6||Vittorio Ghirelli (11)||14||+ 14.043|
|8.||10||Nicholas Risitano (8)||14||+ 16.699|
|9.||15||Freddie Hemborg (77)||14||+ 23.332|
|10.||14||Myatt Snider (48)||14||+ 24.983|
|11.||9||Eric de Doncker (98)||14||+ 25.191|
|12.||16||Ben Creanor (33)||14||+ 26.524|
|13.||21||Mirco Schultis (70)||14||+ 36.472|
|14.||17||Michael Bleekemolen (69)||14||+ 36.875|
|15.||22||Arianna Casoli (54)||14||+ 1:12.560|
|16.||20||Thomas Krasonis (1)||10||+ 4 Laps|
|17.||13||Naveh Talor (12)||9||DNF (Mechanical)|
|18.||18||Ian Eric Wadén (23)||8||DNF (Puncture)|
|19.||11||Pierluigi Veronesi (27)||7||DNF (Accident)|
|20.||19||Eric Clément (88)||7||DNF (Collision)|
|21.||8||Alessandro Brigatti (9)||0||DNF (Collision)|
|22.||7||Jesse Vartiainen (2)||0||DNF (Collision)|
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will hit the track today for Round 8 of the 2019 season. The green flag for Round 8 will be waved at 2:25 PM CET. 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.