The No. 18 Hendriks Motorsport team pulled the sweep in yesterday’s Qualifying as Giorgio Maggi and Vittorio Ghirelli claims their first pole position of 2020, although the EuroNASCAR 2 Qualifying session were cut short due to two heavy crashes involving CAAL Racing drivers Max Lanza and Arianna Casoli.

Defending Teams Champion Hendriks Motorsport once again showcased the speed they have this year after Giorgio Maggi and Vittorio Ghirelli claims their first pole position in 2020 on yesterday’s Qualifying session at Rijeka.

For Giorgio Maggi, a best lap time of 1:29.754 was enough for the young Swiss driver to secure pole position yesterday, his first in EuroNASCAR PRO. It once again showcases his impressive turnaround of performance at Rijeka after a tough first two rounds in the EuroNASCAR PRO class.  

“It was very tricky, it’s still a bit damp in some spots. The track looked wet, but the pace is really good. It’s an interesting track, a lot of combinations and it’s very tricky but it’s a lot of fun,” said Maggi after Qualifying.

Last year’s runner-up Stienes Longin puts the No. 11 Projob PK Carsport Camaro in the front row with a time of 1:29.870 as DF1 Racing drivers Nicolò Rocca and Lasse Sørensen completes the second row of the grid.

Loris Hezemans completes the Top 5 ahead of Gianmarco Ercoli, who unfortunately will be sent to the back of the grid as Ercoli will be forced to temporarily switch rides to the No. 70 Mishumotors Camaro after Casoli’s Qualifying crash damaged the No. 54 CAAL Camaro beyond repair for the rest of the weekend.

Debutant Mark Škulj had an impressive day in the office during Qualifying as the 16-year old Slovenian puts the No. 88 K2/Skulj FJ car inside the Top 10, finishing the session just behind championship leader Alon Day.

Davide Dallara once again leads the Challenger Trophy drivers in 12th place while home crowd favorite Niko Pulić qualified 15th, his day interrupted with a crash late in the session that fortunately left the No. 1 Remedica Ford with just minor bodywork damage.

Simon Pilate is involved in the only other major incident in EuroNASCAR PRO’s Qualifying session as he coasted into a halt early in the session due to engine issues on his No. 6 FEED Vict FJ.

EuroNASCAR PRO Qualifying Results

1. Giorgio Maggi (18) 1:29.754
2. Stienes Longin (11) 1:29.870
3. Nicolò Rocca (22) 1:29.931
4. Lasse Sørensen (66) 1:29.968
5. Loris Hezemans (50) 1:30.000
6. Gianmarco Ercoli (54) 1:30.157
7. Martin Doubek (7) 1:30.312
8. Marc Goossens (98) 1:30.644
9. Alon Day (24) 1:30.672
10. Mark Škulj (88) 1:30.832
11. Justin Kunz (99) 1:30.934
12. Davide Dallara (89) 1:31.521
13. Francesco Sini (12) 1:31.536
14. Lucas Lasserre (33) 1:31.596
15. Niko Pulić (1) 1:33.058
16. Dario Caso (8) 1:33.228
17. Mauro Trione (31) 1:33.840
18. Wilfried Boucenna (46) 1:33.873
19. Evgeny Sokolovsky (48) 1:39.168
20. Simon Pilate (6) 1:46.746

In the EuroNASCAR 2 Qualifying session, it was Vittorio Ghirelli that claimed his first career pole position in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series as the Italian once again dominated the field in Qualifying after setting a lap time 0.856 seconds faster than teammate Tobias Dauenhauer, who slots himself in second to secure a front row start for Hendriks Motorsport.

“I did a very good lap, it was good considering the Practice yesterday so overall we did a good job at team Hendriks. I thank my team, my sponsors, my family, and let’s keep the good work for the race,” said Ghirelli after Qualifying.

Despite track conditions continued to improve in EuroNASCAR 2’s Qualifying session, there were more incidents in EN2’s Qualifying as demonstrated by Igor Romanov who managed to spin the No. 89 Not Only Motorsport Camaro twice, with his first spin happening only a few corners after he exited the pits to do his first out lap.

The Qualifying session was red flagged after two separate crashes involving CAAL Racing drivers. The first incident happened when Max Lanza, who earlier had an off-track excursion in Turns 1 & 2, lost control of his car at Turn 5 and crashed into the tire barrier backwards at high speed.

Not long after Lanza crashed out, Arianna Casoli also had a scary shunt when she lost control of her car in the kink just before the start/finish line. Casoli’s car veered into the left and hit the Armco barrier with such force that that parts of the barrier were dislodged from its mounting point, forcing Qualifying to be stopped immediately and necessitating a delay in the start time for the Saturday races.

Casoli thankfully was uninjured, although the same can’t be said for Lanza as he suffered a broken wrist in the crash. Lanza’s crash highlights a safety hazard with the 2020-spec Euro Series cars as he becomes the third driver to suffer a wrist injury this year.

Previously, Gašper Dernovšek suffered a wrist injury after a crash in the first race at Vallelunga while defending series champion Loris Hezemans also suffered one after a crash during Qualifying at Zolder. Hezemans thankfully only suffered a minor injury, but Dernovšek’s injury was severe enough that he was forced to sit out for the rest of the season.

In the meantime, Vladimiros Tziortzis continues to showcase his impressive speed at Rijeka as the Cypriot qualified in a career-best third place ahead of Dylan Derdaele and Alessandro Brigatti, both of whom completes the Top 5. Nicholas Risitano, Julia Landauer, Doubek, Lanza, and Francesco Garisto completes the Top 10.

EuroNASCAR 2 Qualifying Results

1. Vittorio Ghirelli (18) 1:28.722
2. Tobias Dauenhauer (50) 1:29.578
3. Vladimiros Tziortzis (1) 1:29.896
4. Dylan Derdaele (98) 1:30.688
5. Alessandro Brigatti (8) 1:30.756
6. Nicholas Risitano (12) 1:30.784
7. Julia Landauer (11) 1:30.924
8. Martin Doubek (7) 1:31.453
9. Max Lanza (88) 1:32.159
10. Francesco Garisto (46) 1:32.272
11. Simon Pilate (6) 1:33.119
12. Giovanni Trione (31) 1:33.805
13. Evgeny Sokolovsky (48) 1:34.159
14. Mirco Schultis (70) 1:35.532
15. Frank Riedel (99) 1:37.295
16. Arianna Casoli (54) 1:38.946
17. Igor Romanov (89) 1:47.722

Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard / Klemen Sofric.

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