The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series returns this week for the start of the 2019 Playoffs with the American Fan Fest Semi Finals at the Hockenheimring. On yesterday’s Elite 2 Practice sessions, it was Giorgio Maggi that leads a Hendriks Motorsport 1-2 in the combined Practice timesheets.
Maggi’s best lap time of 1:33.741 in FP1 proved to be the leading time in the Elite 2 class, as his teammate Martin Doubek would finish in second with a best lap time of 1:33.941 – also set in FP1 – to make it a Hendriks Motorsport 1-2 in the combined Practice timesheets.
Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe driver Hugo de Sadeleer, who is making his NASCAR Whelen Euro Series debut in the No. 88 Racing Engineering Ford Mustang this week, was impressive on Friday as his best lap time of 1:33.996 was enough for not only third in the combined Practice timesheets, but also for the lead in the final Free Practice leaderboard. PK Carsport’s sole entrant Vittorio Ghirelli was fourth with a best lap time of 1:34.065, with Myatt Snider finishing in fifth with a best lap time of 1:34.127 to cap off an impressive Friday for Racing Engineering.
CAAL Racing’s Pierluigi Veronesi pipped Lasse Sørensen by just 0.003 seconds to steal sixth in the combined Practice timesheets. Both Veronesi and Sørensen finished ahead of Andre Castro, who finished in eighth in the combined timesheets with a best lap time of 1:34.765. Finland’s Jesse Vartiainen also had an impressive Friday, as his best lap time of 1:34.799 was enough to put him in 3rd place in FP1’s timesheets and 9th fastest in the combined Practice timesheets. Advait Deodhar would complete the Top 10 in the combined Practice timesheets.
Michael Bleekemolen put use of his past Hockenheim experience to a good effect as he finished the Practice sessions in 11th, the fastest of the Legend Trophy drivers. Max Lanza’s return to the series after a three-round absence saw him finish the Practice sessions in an impressive 12th place, the last driver whose best lap time is in the 1:35 mark. Ian Eric Wadén, Thomas Krasonis, and home driver Mirco Schultis would complete the Top 15.
NASKART alumnus Alessandro Brigatti finished in 16th place ahead of another NASKART alumnus, the 2018 NASKART champion Moreno Di Silvestre who is making his return to the series for the first time since Franciacorta in the No. 56 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS. The debuting Ioannis Smyrlis, who pulled the double duty this week, finished the Elite 2 Practice sessions in 18th place ahead of Naveh Talor, while Ben Creanor completes the Top 20 in the combined Practice timesheets despite not taking part in the first Free Practice session.
Matthias Hauer finished in 21st place in the new-look Speedhouse 64 team ahead of Janne Koikkalainen, who is replacing Freddie Hemborg in the No. 77 Memphis Racing team this week. Pol van Pollaert, Arianna Casoli, and Justin Kunz – who is struggling with mechanical issues all Friday long – completes the Top 25. Nicholas Risitano rounded off the field in 26th and last place after he caused the session-ending Red Flag in the first Free Practice session.
COMBINED PRACTICE TIMESHEETS
|RANK||DRIVER||FP1 TIME||FP2 TIME|
|1.||Giorgio Maggi (50)||1:33.741||1:34.420|
|2.||Martin Doubek (7)||1:33.941||1:34.547|
|3.||Hugo de Sadeleer (88)||1:36.126||1:33.996|
|4.||Vittorio Ghirelli (24)||1:34.842||1:34.065|
|5.||Myatt Snider (48)||1:35.978||1:34.127|
|6.||Pierluigi Veronesi (27)||1:36.190||1:34.465|
|7.||Lasse Sørensen (66)||1:34.891||1:34.468|
|8.||Andre Castro (46)||1:35.565||1:34.765|
|9.||Jesse Vartiainen (2)||1:34.799||1:35.503|
|10.||Advait Deodhar (31)||1:36.184||1:35.030|
|11.||Michael Bleekemolen (69)||1:35.486||1:35.334|
|12.||Max Lanza (41)||1:36.145||1:35.798|
|13.||Ian Eric Wadén (23)||1:37.575||1:36.358|
|14.||Thomas Krasonis (1)||1:39.463||1:36.723|
|15.||Mirco Schultis (70)||1:38.463||1:36.878|
|16.||Alessandro Brigatti (9)||1:36.935||1:37.125|
|17.||Moreno Di Silvestre (56)||1:37.507||1:37.699|
|18.||Ioannis Smyrlis (22)||1:39.614||1:37.717|
|19.||Naveh Talor (12)||1:37.757||No Time|
|20.||Ben Creanor (33)||No Time||1:38.236|
|21.||Matthias Hauer (64)||1:43.969||1:40.232|
|22.||Janne Koikkalainen (77)||1:41.638||1:40.639|
|23.||Pol van Pollaert (98)||1:40.634||No Time|
|24.||Arianna Casoli (54)||1:40.945||1:40.715|
|25.||Justin Kunz (99)||1:40.927||1:54.123|
|26.||Nicholas Risitano (8)||1:46.499||No Time|
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will hit the track for Round 10 and Round 11 of the 2019 season on 21 September and 22 September respectively. The green flag for the Elite 2 races on this year’s edition of American Fan Fest Semi Finals will be waved at 17:05 CEST on Saturday for Race 1, and at 10:50 CEST on Sunday for Race 2.
All races for this season are going to be aired live on FansChoice.tv, Motorsport.tv, and the official Facebook page and YouTube channel of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.