As NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, and Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series resumes their 2020 season following the two-month postponements that they had due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series are still resuming their respective sim racing championships that they have hosted in the wake of the COVID-19 related postponements.
In the most recent sim racing event held by NASCAR Mexico, the 5th event of the Trucks Virtual Mexico Series held at iRacing’s virtual Michigan International Speedway held two days ago, Euro Series driver Max Lanza made an appearance as a guest entry racing the No. 88 Wakala / CEPI T.A.A.S Chevrolet Silverado.
“I feel very happy and grateful with the invitation that a championship that has taken so much relevance in Mexico makes me. It’s a good opportunity to be at a distance on the track with young drivers of great level, besides continuing to prepare for the return”, said Lanza to trucksmexico.com when it was first announced that he’s entering the Trucks Virtual Mexico Series on May 28.
Max Lanza’s guest entry in the Trucks Virtual Mexico Series continues upon the partnership that Mexico and Euro formed last year via the Driver Exchange Program. Last year, the then two-time Mexico Series champion Rubén García Jr. made a wildcard appearance in Euro Series’ first round of the season at Valencia while Loris Hezemans made the trip to Mexico to take part in Mexico Series’ final round of the season at Mexico City as a reward for winning the 2019 Euro Series title.
“We always look for growth and that this championship is seen in as many places as possible to give that projection to our drivers as well as our sponsors and this is one way to do it. Having a guest from NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will surely add up to very good things for this virtual version that has had a great acceptance among the fans,” said Arturo Chávez, the director of Trucks Mexico Series to trucksmexico.com on Lanza’s participation.
Lanza’s one-off race proved to be a tough one. Qualifying only 37th out of the 41 starters despite being only 0.208 seconds slower than pole sitter Óscar Torres Jr., early connection problems prevented Lanza from taking the start initially before he got involved in the Big One on lap 9 that dropped him multiple laps down.
Eventually, after a gruelling 71 lap race that was won by Alex de Alba in the No. 14 Canel’s Toyota Tundra, Lanza eventually finished in 39th place, 12 laps down from the leaders.
Despite this, Lanza is happy to be able to take part in PEAK Mexico Series’ virtual sim racing events.
“I want to remember my race like this. Aggressive, quick and with my Truck intact. I want to thank Last Lap, Carreras en Vivo & Trucks México Series for this great opportunity! I had a lot of fun in a complete new challenge for me! Muchas gracias!” said Lanza in social media after the race.
The full race replay can be seen at the link provided here.
Within the EuroNASCAR Esports Series, Lanza currently sits in 47th place in the overall standings with 8 points, 97 points behind series leader Lasse Sørensen. The 4th round of the Esports Series, held at the virtual Indianapolis Road Course, was supposed to be held yesterday but was postponed due to iRacing’s recent major update that adds Bill Elliott’s record breaking 1987 Ford Thunderbird and Dale Earnhardt’s 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe to the game.
Disclaimer: Photos used in this article are courtesy of the respective sources.