Giorgio Maggi was able to fend off the challenge of Lasse Sørensen, Hugo de Sadeleer, and Jesse Vartiainen in yesterday’s Elite 2 race at Hockenheim to score his third victory of the season and extend his lead in the Elite 2 Championship.
It was not an easy flag-to-flag victory for Maggi as he lost the lead to Hugo de Sadeleer early in the race. Maggi fought back valiantly, however, and stayed patient as he slowly puts in the pressure to de Sadeleer in the No. 88 Racing Engineering Ford Mustang. Eventually, de Sadeleer was pressured into a mistake at the final corner and Maggi was able to reclaim the lead and win by 0.735 seconds from Sorensen, with de Sadeleer holding on to third to score a podium in his debut NASCAR race.
“It’s been perfect for the whole team”, said Maggi to Mark Werrell in the post-race interview. “Pole position and the win in Elite 1 and Elite 2. I was very lucky with the restart to get my position back after messing up, kinda with fighting for the position in Turn 1. Even throughout the whole weekend, I’m always struggling with the first corner, so I knew it will be tough in the beginning. But once I got a little bit of a gap going, the car felt pretty good and also the fights with de Sadeleer and Sørensen were pretty tight and it was fun.”
“That was a really good race and we have some good battles”, said Sørensen in the post-race interview. “The first start was really good before the safety car. Unfortunately, the Safety Car came out and I had to go back to my starting position and we had to do another start and I got a good start again, putting pressure on Maggi. It look like his tire pressure was a bit lower than mine and he had more speed towards the end where my tires shrugged off a bit, but that’s something we can work on and fix for tomorrow, so I think tomorrow’s race is going to be even better.”
“It’s been an amazing experience”, said de Sadeleer in the post-race interview. “Racing Engineering invited me at the last-minute because one of their drivers couldn’t come and I had a tough time learning the car. It really isn’t easy to drive, especially since we are driving with ABS and traction control with GT3, so its been an interesting learning experience. I have to learn a lot and fortunately for Qualifying the car felt great and we managed to get a front-row start, so I’m really pleased with that.”
As Maggi and Sorensen finished 1-2 in the Saturday race, the title ambitions for the other title challengers took a major blow in a first-corner incident. As the field races through the first corner in the first lap, Vittorio Ghirelli spun the tires of his No. 24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro and slowed down just enough for Andre Castro in the No. 46 Marko Stipp Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro to hit him in the back.
The collision send Ghirelli’s car into the tire barriers on the exit of Turn 1 and left a heavy damage to the front end of Castro’s car. Ghirelli’s day was done on the spot while Andre Castro initially was able to bring his car back to the pits before he eventually retired as well as the collision damage proved to be too much for Castro to handle.
Advait Deodhar also got involved in the incident, but the Indian driver was lucky enough that he managed to get away with a bent steering arm. Despite the steering arm was bent so heavily that Deodhar described that his steering was “at 60 degrees to the left”, he was able to score valuable Championship points as he was able to recover to 10th place.
Jesse Vartiainen misses out the podium in his best ever Euro Series performance yet as Pierluigi Veronesi finally scored his first ever Top 5 finish after several close calls with a Top 5 finish before. Nicholas Risitano continued his Top 10 finishing streak with a 6th place finish ahead of Martin Doubek, who earned the bonus Championship points for the most positions gained as he recovered from a lowly 24th place starting grid into a strong 7th place finish in his No. 7 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang.
Ben Creanor brought home the No. 33 Mishumotors Camaro in eighth place for his best finish in the Euro Series so far and the 16-year old driver finished ahead of championship contenders Myatt Snider and Deodhar. Pol van Pollaert was the fastest of the three new entries as he edged out Moreno Di Silvestre for 11th place by 0.0450 seconds.
Ian Eric Wadén scored his fourth Legend Trophy victory with a 13th place finish ahead of Michael Bleekemolen, while Max Lanza completes the Top 15 and finished ahead of Mirco Schultis, who completes the Legend Trophy podium in 16th place. Thomas Krasonis finishes in 17th after he was hit with a Drive-Through penalty late in the race, while Arianna Casoli, Matthias Hauer, Janne Koikkalainen, and Ioannis Smyrlis rounds out the finishers for Saturday’s Elite 2 race at Hockenheim.
Alessandro Brigatti was forced to retire on the penultimate lap, but the car was fast enough to put the young Italian in third place on the grid for Sunday’s race. Castro was classified in 23rd place ahead of Naveh Talor, who was forced to retire for collision damage sustained in another first lap incident, while Ghirelli was classified in 25th place as the last-place finisher for the race.
Home driver Justin Kunz was forced to not start the Saturday race of his home NASCAR GP as the No. 99 Dexwet-DF1 team was unable to change the engine of his car in time after Guillaume Deflandre’s engine failure on the final lap of the Elite 1 race left the No. 99 car with a broken engine that had to be replaced before it was able to be raced again.
FULL RACE RESULTS
|POS||GRID||DRIVER||LAPS||TIME / GAP|
|1.||1||Giorgio Maggi (50)||16||30:59.129|
|2.||4||Lasse Sørensen (66)||16||+ 0.735|
|3.||2||Hugo de Sadeleer (88)||16||+ 2.399|
|4.||6||Jesse Vartiainen (2)||16||+ 3.879|
|5.||8||Pierluigi Veronesi (27)||16||+ 11.518|
|6.||11||Nicholas Risitano (8)||16||+ 12.932|
|7.||24||Martin Doubek (7)||16||+ 13.126|
|8.||9||Ben Creanor (33)||16||+ 15.032|
|9.||10||Myatt Snider (48)||16||+ 16.899|
|10.||7||Advait Deodhar (31)||16||+ 19.322|
|11.||16||Pol van Pollaert (98)||16||+ 28.267|
|12.||13||Moreno Di Silvestre (56)||16||+ 28.717|
|13.||18||Ian Eric Wadén (23)||16||+ 30.535|
|14.||20||Michael Bleekemolen (69)||16||+ 36.889|
|15.||21||Max Lanza (41)||16||+ 39.377|
|16.||14||Mirco Schultis (70)||16||+ 39.802|
|17.||15||Thomas Krasonis (1)||16||+ 1:03.227|
|18.||26||Arianna Casoli (54)||16||+ 1:05.975|
|19.||22||Matthias Hauer (64)||16||+ 1:09.782|
|20.||23||Janne Koikkalainen (77)||16||+ 1:10.359|
|21.||19||Ioannis Smyrlis (22)||16||+ 1:14.678|
|22.||25||Alessandro Brigatti (9)||15||DNF (Mechanical)|
|23.||5||Andre Castro (46)||11||DNF (Collision Damage)|
|24.||17||Naveh Talor (12)||10||DNF (Collision Damage)|
|25.||3||Vittorio Ghirelli (24)||0||DNF (Collision)|
|26.||12||Justin Kunz (99)||0||DNS (Engine)|
In the Elite 2 Championship standings, Giorgio Maggi extends his championship lead to 25 points as Lasse Sørensen jumps up to second place in the standings. Vittorio Ghirelli drops down to third place in the Championship with 300 points, 58 points behind Maggi and a lot of work to do for Sunday’s race. Myatt Snider and Advait Deodhar stays in 4th and 5th respectively as Andre Castro’s retirement meant that Nicholas Risitano and Pierluigi Veronesi was able to leapfrog the American in the Championship entering Race 11 of the championship on Sunday.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will hit the track for Round 11 of the 2019 season on 22 September. 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.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.