Hendriks Motorsport completes a historic sweep on Sunday’s running of NASCAR GP Spain as Martin Doubek and Loris Hezemans’ win on Race 2 for the weekend meant that the No. 7 Orion Ford team became the first team to claim the victory in all four races of a single NASCAR Whelen Euro Series race week.
Hendriks Motorsport completes their domination on NASCAR GP Spain at Circuit Ricardo Tormo after Martin Doubek and Loris Hezemans claims the victory on Race 2 for EuroNASCAR 2 and EuroNASCAR PRO to give the No. 7 Orion Ford team the perfect weekend to start their season.
The sweep for Hezemans and Doubek also meant that one single team – in this case, the No. 7 Orion Ford team – becomes the first team to sweep every single race in a single NASCAR Whelen Euro Series race week.
After a warm up session early in the morning, the races for Sunday began with the second EuroNASCAR 2 race that began on 10:30 AM local time. With the grid determined by the ordering of fastest lap in Race 1, this meant that the Hendriks duo of Doubek and Tobias Dauenhauer would start from the front row with Vladimiros Tziortzis and Francesco Garisto starting in the second row.
Doubek and Dauenhauer then made the perfect start after the lights went green and soon they began to clear away from the rest of the field. Behind them, there was plenty of action as the drivers battled for positions for the entirety of the 15-lap race.
At the front, Garisto was able to get the jump on Tziortzis on the start and the two drivers battled for several laps before Tziortzis found a way past the Shadow at the end of lap 3. Behind them, Fabrizio Armetta has been making a lot of progress he climbed up to fifth by the end of the third lap and engaged in an exciting bumper-to-bumper battle with Pierluigi Veronesi.
Disaster, however, struck when Armetta caught up to Garisto on lap 4. Coming to the famed Angel Nieto corner, Armetta misjudged his braking point and spun the Shadow around, dropping Garisto all the way down to 21st place as Garisto struggled to get the Shadow back going again. Justin Kunz took advantage of the contact between Garisto and Armetta by passing both drivers to claim fourth place, having dispatched Veronesi a few corners before. Unsurprisingly, the contact would result in a drive-through penalty for Armetta.
Behind them, there was a hotly-contested battle for 7th that was initially contested by Max Lanza, Advait Deodhar, Simon Pilate, Alberto Panebianco, and Thomas Krasonis. Paolo Valeri soon joined the fight and Lanza then made a mistake at the stadium section that dropped him down to 11th place.
Soon, the pack was split into two groups – Deodhar, Pilate, and Panebianco broke away from the pack and caught up with Armetta while Valeri, Lanza, and Krasonis was joined by Ian Eric Waden. Krasonis then spun his car out of the race at the final corner on lap 9 with Armetta taking his penalty on the same lap.
Armetta’s penalty dropped him down to 13th, just ahead of Naveh Talor and Garisto. With all three drivers trying to do damage limitation – Talor had spun early in the race – they were soon engaged in an exciting three-way fight that saw the trio going three wide on the run to Turn 2 on lap 12.
The battles continued to go on even on the tail end of the field as Arianna Casoli, Alina Loibnegger, and Eric Quintal took part in a battle for 18th position that Casoli would eventually won. Elsewhere, Casoli’s teammate Lanza was eliminated after Waden spun the Italian out of the race at Bernat Martinez.
In the end, it was a considerably easy victory for Doubek as he led from start to finish once again to score the sweep at Valencia. Dauenhauer and Tziortzis claimed the podium spots while Kunz and Veronesi completed the Top 5.
“I’m very very happy,” said Doubek at the Victory Lane. “This weekend was really great. We’re fast from the first Practice on Friday and I’m really happy. We have a good teammate, a good team, a really good setup and it helped me so much.”
Pilate would claim 6th, a strong recovery after brake and power steering issues eventually culminated in his spin on Saturday. Deodhar is seventh ahead of Panebianco – the highest-finishing rookie once again – as Valeri claimed the Legend Trophy victory with his 9th place finish yesterday. Sokolovsky completes the Top 10 to secure his first double Top-10 finish in the series.
Armetta was eventually classified in 11th ahead of Talor and Garisto with Miguel Gomes and Michael Bleekemolen – who claimed the bonus points for most positions gained – completing the Top 15. Didier Bec was 16th ahead of Waden, who crossed the line in 10th place before he was demoted after receiving a 30-second post-race time penalty for his collision with Lanza.
Casoli, Loibnegger, and Quintal completes the finishers with Lanza and Krasonis classified in 21st and 22nd respectively. Leevi Lintukanto failed to make the start after a major technical issue with the No. 23 Barot’s Camaro prevented him from making it to the grid in Sunday’s race.
Full EuroNASCAR 2 Race 2 Results
|POS||GRID||DRIVER||LAPS||TIME / GAP|
|1.||1||Martin Doubek (7)||15||26:02.618|
|2.||2||Tobias Dauenhauer (50)||15||+ 2.482|
|3.||3||Vladimiros Tziortzis (1)||15||+ 5.079|
|4.||6||Justin Kunz (22)||15||+ 18.447|
|5.||5||Pierluigi Veronesi (27)||15||+ 24.894|
|6.||9||Simon Pilate (66)||15||+ 28.510|
|7.||7||Advait Deodhar (56)||15||+ 31.503|
|8.||14||Alberto Panebianco (89)||15||+ 33.485|
|9.||16||Paolo Valeri (8)||15||+ 36.354|
|10.||15||Evgeny Sokolovsky (48)||15||+ 44.560|
|11.||10||Fabrizio Armetta (55)||15||+ 1:00.204|
|12.||12||Naveh Talor (90)||15||+ 1:00.535|
|13.||4||Francesco Garisto (42)||15||+ 1:00.978|
|14.||20||Miguel Gomes (46)||15||+ 1:09.915|
|15.||23||Michael Bleekemolen (69)||15||+ 1:11.490|
|16.||18||Didier Bec (10)||15||+ 1:13.229|
|17.||13||Ian Eric Waden (44)||15||+ 1:13.9981|
|18.||19||Arianna Casoli (54)||15||+ 1:24.467|
|19.||22||Alina Loibnegger (12)||15||+ 1:25.030|
|20.||21||Eric Quintal (33)||15||+ 1:25.888|
|21.||8||Max Lanza (88)||13||DNF (Collision)|
|22.||11||Thomas Krasonis (2)||15||DNF (Spun Off)|
|23.||17||Leevi Lintukanto (23)||0||DNS (Did Not Start)|
1 Ian Eric Waden received a 30-second time penalty for causing an avoidable collision with Max Lanza.
In the EuroNASCAR PRO race, it was Hezemans and Day that filled the front row once again with Ercoli and Rocca also filling the second row of the grid. This time, the start went well for Hezemans as he managed to claim the holeshot and kept his lead on the opening lap with Day hot on his tails.
The battle soon went wrong for Day however, as contact between him and Hezemans in the run to Turn 5 on the next lap sent the No. 88 Monster Energy Camaro into a lengthy trip to the gravel trap. Day then brought his car into the pits and tried to rejoin, but the damage had been done and he would eventually retire after completing 13 laps.
Gianmarco Ercoli was soon promoted to second and behind him, there was a three-way battle between Vittorio Ghirelli, Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, and Lucas Lasserre as they were fighting for what is now the final podium spot. The battle continued lap after lap with Ghirell maintaining his position, but a great run for Bleekemolen at the exit on Aspar allowed the driver of the No. 69 Race Planet Ford to get past Ghirelli on the penultimate lap.
While the gap between Hezemans to Ercoli and the aforementioned three-way battle was staying within a 5 second gap, neither of them would had the pace to catch up to the Race 1 winner as Hezemans crosses the line in first to secure his 9th career victory in the series.
“I think we started where we left off last year at Valencia, winning the last race and we were quick in both races last year as well,” said Hezemans on his sweep at the Victory Lane. “The switch so far seems good, but we’re sure there’s potential also last year. Really happy with the results and let’s bring on the next race!”
Ercoli would maintain second as Bleekemolen claims third to score his first podium finish in the series. Their podium finishes meant that both drivers also won the classifications in Junior and Challenger Trophy respectively.
Ghirelli was fourth ahead of Nicolo Rocca, who was promoted to fifth post-race after Lassere once again received a 5-second post-race time penalty for excessive track limit violations. Fabrizio Armetta also received the penalty – resulting in the Italian being classified 13th instead of 12th – while Dario Caso – who finished 14th – was lucky to avoid the penalty given that he was one of the drivers that was shown to receive the black-white warning flag for track limits.
Thomas Ferrando was 7th ahead of Giorgio Maggi, who won his battle with Jacques Villeneuve that went on for most of the race. JV would eventually cross the line in 9th ahead of Marc Goossens to complete the Top 10 finishing positions.
RDV Competition had a tough day in the office once again as Frederic Gabillon and Ulysse Delsaux only managed to finish in 11th and 12th place respectively. Armetta, Caso, and Sokolovsky completes the Top 15 with Sokolovsky claiming the 4 bonus points for most positions gained. Davide Dallara came home in 16th as the last finisher, the Italian having to deal with an ailing engine through the race.
Francesco Sini’s impressive run in the Top 10 was spoiled after he spun off on the penultimate lap, while mechanical issues forced the retirement of Bernardo Manfre’s Shadow. The other Shadow of Luigi Ferrara had a worse day, however, as he suffered a high-speed exit at Turn 1 that resulted in Ferrara crashing into the tire barriers, nearly tearing off the front-right tire assembly in the process.
It was considerably worse for DF1 however, as three of their cars – Waden, Henri Tuomaala, and Patrick Lemarie – all suffered terminal mechanical issues that saw them retire by lap 8, with Lemarie even failing to make the start. Andrea Nori was the last of the retirements as he too suffered mechanical issues on his Not Only Motorsport Chevrolet.
Full EuroNASCAR PRO Race 2 Results
|POS||GRID||DRIVER||LAPS||TIME / GAP|
|1.||1||Loris Hezemans (7)||18||31:28.915|
|2.||3||Gianmarco Ercoli (54)||18||+ 1.839|
|3.||6||Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (69)||18||+ 3.283|
|4.||5||Vittorio Ghirelli (50)||18||+ 4.417|
|5.||4||Nicolò Rocca (22)||18||+ 9.781|
|6.||9||Lucas Lasserre (33)||18||+ 12.1081|
|7.||10||Thomas Ferrando (1)||18||+ 13.795|
|8.||7||Giorgio Maggi (18)||18||+ 14.867|
|9.||13||Jacques Villeneuve (5)||18||+ 21.319|
|10.||14||Marc Goossens (77)||18||+ 22.613|
|11.||12||Frederic Gabillon (3)||18||+ 23.432|
|12.||16||Ulysse Delsaux (10)||18||+ 27.776|
|13.||20||Fabrizio Armetta (55)||18||+ 30.2371|
|14.||17||Dario Caso (8)||18||+ 33.981|
|15.||23||Evgeny Sokolovsky (48)||18||+ 50.566|
|16.||21||Davide Dallara (89)||18||+ 54.509|
|17.||11||Francesco Sini (12)||16||DNF (Accident)|
|18.||24||Bernardo Manfre (17)||15||DNF (Mechanical)|
|19.||2||Alon Day (88)||13||DNF (Collision Damage)|
|20.||8||Luigi Ferrara (42)||10||DNF (Accident)|
|21.||22||Ian Eric Waden (44)||7||DNF (Mechanical)|
|22.||15||Andrea Nori (90)||3||DNF (Mechanical)|
|23.||19||Henri Tuomaala (23)||2||DNF (Mechanical)|
|24.||18||Patrick Lemarie (66)||0||DNS (Did Not Start)|
1 Lucas Lasserre and Fabrizio Armetta received a 5-second time penalty for excessive track limit violations.
The results at Valencia, unsurprisingly, would place Hezemans and Doubek at the top of the standings with 80 points on their name. For EuroNASCAR PRO, it was Ercoli that came out in second on the standings with 69 points. Rocca, Ghirelli, and Ferrando completes the Top 5 with 67, 64, and 63 points respectively.
Lasserre was sixth with 60 points ahead of JV, who was classified in seventh place with 58 points. Marc Goossens was eighth with 55 points while Gabillon and Bleekemolen were tied for 52 points, but Bleekemolen claimed ninth as a result of his Race 2 podium finish. Alon Day’s retirement in Race 2 meant that he’s currently only in eleventh with 50 points on his name.
Second place in the EuroNASCAR 2 standings had to be determined by total race time as Dauenhauer’s slightly faster total time throughout both races placed him just ahead of Tziortzis given that both drivers were tied with 69 points. Pierluigi Veronesi’ double Top 5 finish places him fourth with 65 points, while Naveh Talor’s impressive Race 1 outing gave him enough buffer to keep him in the Top 5 with 60 points.
Rookie Panebianco was sixth with 57 points, while Sokolovsky’ double Top-10 finishes puts him in seventh place with 54 points. Garisto was eighth with 53 points while Pilate and Deodhar were tied for ninth and tenth with 50 points on their name.
Disclaimed: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard / Bart Dehaese.