Yesterday’s Qualifying for NASCAR GP Spain, the first half of the Valencia Super Speedweek doubleheaders, saw championship leaders Alon Day and Vittorio Ghirelli took pole position in their respective classes as they looked to try extend their lead in the standings on the upcoming races at Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
The championship deciding round of the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season begins yesterday with the first day of running for NASCAR GP Spain. Previously titled NASCAR GP de la Comunitat Valenciana, NASCAR GP Spain started off its actions yesterday as championship leaders Alon Day and Vittorio Ghirelli took pole position for the first set of races on Friday and Saturday.
In the EuroNASCAR PRO class, Alon Day proved himself to be the fastest driver of the day as the Israeli set a lap time of 1:40.764 to claim his second consecutive pole position of 2020 and his first Qualifying pole award of 2020.
Day only spend 7 laps during the 30-minute long Qualifying session, the least of all the drivers that went out on track in the Pro class Qualifying. This meant that he will have some extra rubber ready for GP Spain’s races, a crucial factor given that the rules stipulated that a driver must use one set of General Tire tires for the entire race weekend.
“It’s good to be on pole for the race tomorrow”, said the driver of the No. 24 Monster Energy Camaro to euronascar.com. “I think my team and I really needed to grab this pole position. It’s a good start to a challenging weekend and the PK Carsport team gave me an amazing car. Everybody worked so hard for that. In the races we have to keep the championship in mind and be clever to score the maximum of points here.”
Behind Day, the Top 5 positions are filled by his primary championship rivals. Gianmarco Ercoli – racing the No. 54 once again – claimed the top honors out of this group, as he claimed second place with a time of 1:41.249.
2019’s champion duo Loris Hezemans and Lasse Sorensen will start from the second row of the grid, a crucial turnaround for both drivers given that they had a mechanical issue in Practice that prevented them from setting a lap time in FP1 and FP2 respectively.
Race 5’s winner Stienes Longin secured a 5th place starting position on the grid ahead of Marc Goossens. Nicolo Rocca was promoted up to 7th after Lucas Lasserre, who initially qualified in 7th, received a 1-place grid penalty for causing an avoidable collision. Debutant Olivier Hart and Giorgio Maggi completes the Top 10.
Mauro Trione leads the Challenger Trophy drivers as the Swiss-Italian driver qualified 13th with a time of 1:43.027, 0.144 seconds ahead of closest Challenger Trophy rival Davide Dallara. Patrick Lemarie can only qualify in 15th place on his return race, while Dario Caso would have to start from the pit lane for today’s race.
Three-time series champion Ander Vilariño failed to set a lap time on his first Qualifying session since 2019 after the No. 48 HAMA Trucks Camaro blew its engine in the final Free Practice session.
EuroNASCAR PRO Qualifying Results
|1.||Alon Day (24)||1:40.764|
|2.||Gianmarco Ercoli (54)||1:41.249|
|3.||Loris Hezemans (50)||1:41.353|
|4.||Lasse Sørensen (66)||1:41.424|
|5.||Stienes Longin (11)||1:41.428|
|6.||Marc Goossens (98)||1:41.741|
|7.||Nicolò Rocca (22)||1:41.903|
|8.||Lucas Lasserre (33)||1:41.7711|
|9.||Olivier Hart (7)||1:42.081|
|10.||Giorgio Maggi (18)||1:42.129|
|11.||Francesco Sini (12)||1:42.375|
|12.||Justin Kunz (99)||1:42.756|
|13.||Mauro Trione (31)||1:43.027|
|14.||Davide Dallara (89)||1:43.171|
|15.||Patrick Lemarié (6)||1:43.386|
|16.||Alberto Panebianco (10)||1:45.131|
|17.||Evgeny Sokolovsky (46)||1:45.545|
|18.||Ander Vilariño (48)||No Time|
|EX.||Dario Caso (8)||1:42.6542|
1 Lucas Lasserre initally qualified 7th, but he received a 1-place grid drop penalty for causing an avoidable collision.
2 Dario Caso initially qualified 12th, but he was excluded from the results and had to start from pit lane in Race 1.
In the EuroNASCAR 2 class, Hendriks Motorsport once again dominated the session as Vittorio Ghirelli set a time of 1:41.631 to claim his third consecutive pole position of 2020, leading teammate Martin Doubek by just 0.081 seconds.
“It was a tough Qualifying and a very close one”, said Ghirelli to euronascar.com. “I had a little bit of traffic on my fastest lap and it was not possible to improve afterwards. But it was good enough to grab the Pole Position. We are looking forward to the races and we try to keep the positive energy for the upcoming challenges. We hope to get the most out of it here in Valencia.”
Ruining the Hendriks party up front is Vladimiros Tziortzis, who once again made a huge impression as he brought the No. 1 Remedica Ford to third place on the grid, just 0.178 seconds behind Ghirelli’s pole time. Tobias Dauenhauer will accompany Tziortzis on the second row of the grid as Nicholas Risitano completes the Top 5.
Championship contender Alessandro Brigatti lines up in 6th ahead of Julia Landauer, the fastest of the three female drivers competing this weekend in EN2. Dylan Derdaele qualifies 8th ahead of Naveh Talor, who returns to the grid for the first time since 2019 while Simon Pilate completes the Top 10.
Japanese driver and Toyota Japan’s production car test driver Kenko Miura qualified in 11th place with a time of 1:43.380 as the fastest Legend Trophy driver. Miura will be driving the No. 99 HAMA Trucks/Emirates Camaro of DF1 Racing this weekend, which showcased a new and striking purple livery for the Valencia doubleheaders.
Only 16 cars out of the 19 that was supposed to participate in today’s races took part in Qualification yesterday. Mechanical issues and a blown engine prevented Zihara Esteban and Francesco Garisto from taking part, while Lasserre’s collision in the PRO class Qualifying meant that Eric Quintal was sidelined due to the collision damage it suffered.
EuroNASCAR 2 Qualifying Results
|1.||Vittorio Ghirelli (18)||1:41.631|
|2.||Martin Doubek (7)||1:41.712|
|3.||Vladimiros Tziortzis (1)||1:41.809|
|4.||Tobias Dauenhauer (50)||1:41.832|
|5.||Nicholas Risitano (12)||1:42.178|
|6.||Alessandro Brigatti (8)||1:42.458|
|7.||Julia Landauer (11)||1:30.924|
|8.||Dylan Derdaele (98)||1:42.561|
|9.||Naveh Talor (89)||1:42.688|
|10.||Simon Pilate (6)||1:42.949|
|11.||Kenko Miura (99)||1:43.380|
|12.||Mirco Schultis (70)||1:43.729|
|13.||Giovanni Trione (31)||1:44.797|
|14.||Leevi Lintukanto (10)||1:44.927|
|15.||Evgeny Sokolovsky (48)||1:45.690|
|16.||Arianna Casoli (54)||1:56.145|
|17.||Zihara Esteban (22)||No Time|
|18.||Eric Quintal (33)||No Time|
|19.||Francesco Garisto (48)||No Time|
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.