NASCAR GP Croatia proved to be the weekend of domination for Vittorio Ghirelli as he once again led from start to finish in the Sunday EuroNASCAR 2 race at Rijeka to further extend his lead in the standings and cemented Hendriks Motorsport’s domination in NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ junior class this year.
Vittorio Ghirelli’s domination in NASCAR GP Croatia was cemented on Sunday after he led from start to finish in the EuroNASCAR 2 race, held in the wet conditions, to pull off the weekend sweep and further extend his lead in the championship standings.
Having led both Practice sessions, claimed pole position in the shortened Qualifying session and won from the lead in Saturday’s race, nothing can stop Vittorio Ghirelli at Rijeka as he leads Martin Doubek by 8.594 at the line to claim his second race win of the season.
“It’s a fantastic weekend, pole position and both wins in the races,” said Ghirelli in the Victory Lane. “This race was in tricky conditions because the track is slippery and wet, but what can I say, the car is fantastic! Team Hendriks did a very good job and I was just pushing every lap until the end and I feel very confident all weekend.”
“Let’s keep it going, keep the good flow for the final event in Valencia in a few weeks and I’m very happy to be here. Fantastic place, fantastic atmosphere in Croatia and hope to be here in next year!”
Martin Doubek and Tobias Dauenhauer completes the podium to further cement Hendriks Motorsport’s domination in Euro Series’ junior class. Ghirelli’s win on Sunday not only marked the sixth victory for Hendriks in EuroNASCAR 2 this year, it also marked the first occasion in the European NASCAR series where a single team managed to sweep all three podium finishing positions in the same race.
Francesco Garisto made impressions by finishing fourth on the road with the Marko Stipp Motorsport Camaro, although he received a 10-second time penalty that dropped him down to 8th place for overtaking outside of the track limits.
Garisto’s penalty meant that Vladimiros Tziortzis, who initially only finished 0.348 seconds behind Garisto, was promoted into a career-best 4th place finish. Dylan Derdaele is fifth ahead of Julia Landauer, who once again secured the win in Lady Trophy.
Simon Pilate crosses the line in 7th place while Nicholas Risitano and Alessandro Brigatti, who were battling in the Top 5 during the first half of the race, finished 9th and 10th respectively after a mistake by Risitano on lap 8 put an end on their podium hopes on the Sunday race.
Risitano was trying to defend his position from Doubek on the outside lane of Turn 15 when he ran wide into the grass. Risitano then rejoined right into the path of his fellow Italian, causing a collision that would end their chances for a podium finish.
Evgeny Sokolovsky, who finished 12th, once again claimed the honors in Legend Trophy while Arianna Casoli managed to find a way to start Race 2. Casoli, who did not start the Saturday race due to the damage sustained by the No. 54 car in her Qualifying shunt, was transferred to the No. 88 team as a replacement driver for Max Lanza.
Lanza’s entry was withdrawn by CAAL in between the races as his Qualifying crash left him with a broken wrist that could put him at risk of not competing in the season finale doubleheader at Circuit Ricardo Tormo next month.
|POS||GRID||DRIVER||LAPS||TIME / GAP|
|1.||1||Vittorio Ghirelli (18)||14||24:53.679|
|2.||4||Martin Doubek (7)||14||+ 8.594|
|3.||2||Tobias Dauenhauer (50)||14||+ 10.196|
|4.||5||Vladimiros Tziortzis (1)||14||+ 22.874|
|5.||7||Dylan Derdaele (98)||14||+ 24.667|
|6.||8||Julia Landauer (11)||15||+ 24.735|
|7.||9||Simon Pilate (6)||14||+ 25.603|
|8.||10||Francesco Garisto (46)||14||+ 32.4221|
|9.||6||Alessandro Brigatti (8)||14||+ 34.639|
|10.||3||Nicholas Risitano (12)||14||+ 49.443|
|11.||11||Giovanni Trione (31)||14||+ 53.858|
|12.||12||Evgeny Sokolovsky (48)||14||+ 1:11.923|
|13.||13||Mirco Schultis (70)||14||+ 1:24.869|
|14.||14||Frank Riedel (99)||14||+ 1:39.876|
|15.||15||Igor Romanov (89)||13||+ 1 Lap|
|16.||16||Arianna Casoli (88)||13||+ 1 Lap|
|17.||17||Max Lanza (88)||0||Withdrew|
1 Francesco Garisto initally finished 4th, but he received a 10-second time penalty for overtaking outside of track limits.
With 213 points to his name after the races at Rijeka, Vittorio Ghirelli continues to extend his lead in the EuroNASCAR 2 standings as he opens a lead of 13 points to Tobias Dauenhauer coming to the Valencia doubleheaders. Brigatti and Tziortzis stays 3rd and 4th respectively as Nicholas Risitano stays 5th with 160 points, just 1 point ahead of leading female driver Julia Landauer in sixth.
Another set of strong results for Martin Doubek, who once again claimed the most positions gained bonus points in Race 2, saw the Czech driver climb up to 7th place in the standings, tied in points with Dylan Derdaele. Francesco Garisto and Simon Pilate completes the Top 10 while Arianna Casoli drops down to 11th place in the standings, the last out of the EN2 drivers that have entered all six races of 2020.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.