Lasse Sørensen masterfully controls his No. 66 Strøjer Tegl Chevrolet Camaro on the wet conditions to score his first victory in the first race of the EuroNASCAR PRO class at Zolder on Saturday after claiming his first Qualifying pole position earlier that day.

Hours after claiming his first Qualifying pole position in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, Lasse Sørensen continues to make huge impressions in the sport after he masterfully converts the pole position into his first victory on the EuroNASCAR PRO class on Saturday.

It was a victory that almost didn’t happen for Sørensen though, as he survived a near-miss on Lap 6 when Stienes Longin spins out at the Jacky Ickx chicane. Longin was trying to overtake Sørensen for the lead when he hit a wet patch of grass on the inside, causing the Belgian to spun into the gravel trap and nearly collecting Sørensen’s car in the process as he spins in front of the defending EuroNASCAR 2 champion.

With the drivers behind him battling for podium positions, Sørensen used the opportunity to set several fast laps to give himself enough gap in the lead. Sørensen would win the race with a lead of 5.703 seconds over Marc Goossens, who recovered from a disappointing weekend at Vallelunga to score a podium finish in his home race.

“It was a great race in crazy conditions here with so much rain,” said Sørensen in the Victory Lane. “It was all about keeping the car on the track and once I opened the gap to 6 seconds, I pretty much just controlled the pace from there.”

Alon Day completes the podium after starting from 7th on the grid with Jacques Villeneuve and Gianmarco Ercoli completing the Top 5. Thomas Ferrando also made a strong recovery after a weekend to forgot at Vallelunga as the Frenchman – who won here last year – finished 6th ahead of Francesco Sini, who scored his 3rd consecutive Top 10 finish of the year on his birthday.

Nicolo Rocca claimed his third 8th place finish in a row ahead of Challenger Trophy winner Martin Doubek, with Luigi Ferrara completing the Top 10 after he was denied from pole in Qualifying due to a track limit violation.

Longin, who went as far down as 18th after the spin, eventually recovered to 11th place and brought home the Fastest Lap to secure himself pole in the second race on Sunday. Davide Dallara impresses once again as the Not Only Motorsport rookie driver finished in 12th, while Mauro Trione in 15th place secured the bonus points for the most positions gained during the race.

Giorgio Maggi’s disappointing debut season in the senior class continues as he only finished 16th after issues on the Safety Car start meant that he was relegated to the back of the field. It was also not a good race for his teammate Loris Hezemans, as the defending champion wasn’t able to recover from his lowly 18th place starting position following a drive-through penalty for passing Dario Caso before the start/finish line on the restart.

Hezemans eventually opted to slow himself down after taking the penalty to get enough clear track ahead for a fastest lap attempt, a gamble that paid off as he will be starting the Sunday race from 5th place despite only finishing in 19th place and nearly getting lapped by Sorensen in the closing stages of the race.

Photo courtesy of Maarten Machiels

Patrick Lemarié and Bernardo Manfrè were the only two drivers that retired from the race, both retiring on the same lap. Lemarié spun out at Turn 4, with Bernardo Manfrè retired after a scary crash at the Jacky Ickx chicane. Manfrè lost control of his No. 17 Shadow Ford and hit the guardrail in such a way that the guardrail pierces through the area between the front tires and the cockpit tub.

Manfrè is uninjured, but the severity of the crash would put the No. 17 Shadow team out of contention for the remainder of the weekend.

Race Results

POS GRID DRIVER LAPS TIME / GAP
1. 1 Lasse Sørensen (66) 18 38:01.360
2. 6 Marc Goossens (98) 18 + 5.703
3. 7 Alon Day (24) 18 + 8.180
4. 3 Jacques Villeneuve (5) 18 + 10.243
5. 4 Gianmarco Ercoli (54) 18 + 13.709
6. 9 Thomas Ferrando (88) 18 + 17.186
7. 5 Francesco Sini (12) 18 + 17.816
8. 10 Nicolò Rocca (22) 18 + 22.223
9. 12 Martin Doubek (7) 18 + 22.421
10. 8 Luigi Ferrara (42) 18 + 24.538
11. 2 Stienes Longin (11) 18 + 28.370
12. 15 Davide Dallara (89) 18 + 34.398
13. 16 Justin Kunz (99) 18 + 43.015
14. 13 Lucas Lasserre (33) 18 + 44.862
15. 20 Mauro Trione (31) 18 + 1:07.425
16. 11 Giorgio Maggi (18) 18 + 1:20.545
17. 19 Evgeny Sokolovsky (46) 18 + 1:29.772
18. 17 Dario Caso (8) 18 + 1:33.300
19. 18 Loris Hezemans (50) 18 + 1:49.483
20. 14 Patrick Lemarié (6) 5 DNF (Spun Off)
21. 21 Bernardo Manfrè (17) 5 DNF (Accident)

Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in the article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard / Bart Dehaese.

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