Giorgio Maggi admits that he would need to have less misfortunes to happen to him next season after a string of bad luck prevented him from making a better impression on his debut season in the top class of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
Giorgio Maggi has admitted on his season review that plenty of misfortunes has prevented him from making a better impression in the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season.
Having finished second in the 2019 EuroNASCAR 2 season after a season-long battle with Lasse Sorensen, expectations were high for Maggi as he received a promotion from Hendriks Motorsport to the PRO class with their newly-expanded No. 18 Ford for this year.
Things, however, did not went well even before the season began for the Swiss rookie driver. During one of the pre-season test sessions, he crashed his No. 18 Ford due to a brake failure, resulting in a loss of track time to familiarize himself with the new car.
“That held me back a bit at the beginning,” said Maggi on the crash. “We lacked track time in this difficult year and also setup experience with the new technical regulations. The level in the EuroNASCAR PRO championship is crazy high and we expect it to go up next year.”
Further issues then appeared during the season opening round at Vallelunga, as Maggi was hampered by damage to the shock absorbers that left him battling in the midfield pack throughout the weekend.
Brake issues then appeared once again in the following round at Zolder, which left him off the pace throughout the rain-filled weekend, finishing only 16th in Race 1 and failing to make to the finish in Race 2.
It was in the third round at Rijeka that Maggi was able to showcase his potential. Maggi shocked the field by scoring his first Qualifying pole position before claiming a maiden podium finish in Race 1, finishing just 0.461 seconds from eventual race winner Stienes Longin.
The 2nd place finish also meant that he claimed the win in the Junior Trophy classifications, his only Junior Trophy win of the season.
“This pole position was the absolute highlight of the year for me, as it is proof that we can compete at the front,” said Maggi on his pole position at Rijeka.
Unfortunately for Maggi, misfortunes quickly strike once again as a collision with teammate Martin Doubek during the Sunday race at Rijeka left him with his second DNF of the season.
Things were slightly better at Valencia: He showcased Top 10 pace during the season-ending doubleheader, but Hendriks Motorsport had to tinker with setup a lot as a setup that worked good for one of their cars can’t be implemented for the other cars.
“On one car it worked, on the other it was a disaster,” said Maggi, who ended his season with yet another misfortune as a collision wit.
In the end, Maggi finished 11th his debut season on the EuroNASCAR PRO class, scoring 1 podium finish and just 3 Top-10 finishes. He did, however, help carry the No. 18 Hendriks team to second in the Teams Championship.
Maggi, who expects to be returning to the No. 18 car next year, is hoping that he will be able to do better in the 2021 season.
“We certainly need a dose of less bad luck next season. Both the team and I need to work on ourselves in the winter to get better. I have no doubt that we can do it and be up front in 2021,” said Maggi.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.