Alon Day and Tobias Dauenhauer leads the proceeding on yesterday’s Free Practice sessions at Brands Hatch for EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2 classes respectively as Advait Deodhar created a surprise by topping FP1 to become the first Asian driver to top a session in Euro Series’ two main classes.

NASCAR Whelen Euro Series finally returns to Brands Hatch yesterday as American SpeedFest 8 begins with Friday’s Free Practice sessions for both EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2.

In the EuroNASCAR PRO class, Alon Day looks set to be the driver to beat this weekend as the defending champion tops up the combined timesheets with a fastest lap time time of 49.418, 0.230 seconds faster than teammate Gianmarco Ercoli. Day’s lightning quick pace was even more apparent during FP1 as his fastest FP1 time of 49.763 was almost half a second quicker than the field on the 1.9-kilometer Brands Hatch Indy Circuit.

Ercoli’s time of 49.648 was pretty remarkable given that the No. 54 CAAL team experienced mechanical issues that prevented Ercoli from turning in more laps at Brands Hatch. Valencia double winner – and championship leader – Loris Hezemans sits in third with a time of 49.765, leading his Hendriks teammates Vittorio Ghirelli and Giorgio Maggi who closes out the Top 5 positions.

Home crowd favorite Alex Sedgwick finishes the day in sixth place with a time of 50.138, just 0.002 seconds faster than Sebastiaan Bleekemolen who made a strong impression after he finished second on the first Practice session. RDV drivers Frederic Gabillon and Ulysse Delsaux finishes the day in 8th and 9th place respectively while Alexander Graff makes it to the Top 10 in his first EuroNASCAR outing since the 2019 Zolder finale.

Henri Tuomaala was the fastest of the Challenger Trophy drivers as he finished the day in 14th place with a time of 50.927, leading Evgeny Sokolovsky by 0.289 seconds. Lucas Lasserre had a tough day in the office as his best time of 51.347 was only enough for 16th place while mechanical gremlins hampered Scott Jeffs, who finished the day in 17th place on the Days of Thunder/City Chevrolet throwback-liveried SimThunder Chevrolet.

Igor Romanov – subbing for Andrea Nori – and Federico Monti makes their top class debut yesterday as both drivers used the Practice sessions to turn in as many laps as possible for their debut EuroNASCAR PRO class race later today.

Francesco Sini and Luigi Ferrara didn’t set a lap time despite being entered into the race. While it is unknown on why Sini didn’t set a time on Practice, Luigi Ferrara’s entry was suspected to be withdrawn due to the heavy crash at Valencia that damaged the chassis and suspension of the No. 42 IWM Shadow DNM8, a possibility that was bolstered by Francesco Garisto’s participation with the No. 17 Mondial Shadow team in EuroNASCAR 2 division.

EuroNASCAR PRO Combined Practice Times

RANK DRIVER FP1 TIME FP2 TIME
1. Alon Day (88) 49.763 49.418
2. Gianmarco Ercoli (54) 50.353 49.648
3. Loris Hezemans (7) 50.638 49.765
4. Vittorio Ghirelli (50) 50.369 50.093
5. Giorgio Maggi (18) 50.280 50.123
6. Alex Sedgwick (24) 50.996 50.138
7. Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (69) 50.247 50.140
8. Frederic Gabillon (3) 50.315 50.462
9. Ulysse Delsaux (10) 51.072 50.376
10. Alexander Graff (44) 50.653 50.543
11. Nicolò Rocca (22) 50.681 50.735
12. Marc Goossens (77) 50.870 51.145
13. Simon Pilate (66) 50.906 54.639
14. Henri Tuomaala (23) 50.927 51.079
15. Evgeny Sokolovsky (48) 51.627 51.216
16. Lucas Lasserre (64) 51.347 52.678
17. Scott Jeffs (46) 51.362 No Time
18. Davide Dallara (89) 51.443 51.443
19. Bernardo Manfre (17) 52.159 51.950
20. Igor Romanov (90) 53.689 53.642
21. Federico Monti (2) 54.661 55.405
22. Francesco Sini (12) No Time No Time
23. Luigi Ferrara (42) No Time No Time

For the EuroNASCAR 2 class drivers, it’s Tobias Dauenhauer that leads the proceeding with a best lap time of 50.410, leading Hendriks teammate – and Valencia double race winner – Martin Doubek by just 0.041 seconds with Simon Pilate finishing the day in third with a time of 50.525.

Vladimiros Tziortzis, surprisingly, looks to be struggling at Brands Hatch. His FP1 time of 52.181 was nearly 1.5 seconds slower than the leaders and while he did improved significantly in FP2, his best time of 50.866 was only enough for 7th in the combined timesheets.

The surprise of the day, however, comes from CAAL Racing’s Advait Deodhar as he became the first Asian driver to top a session in either EuroNASCAR PRO or EuroNASCAR 2, and the second Asian driver overall after Manami Kobayashi topped EuroNASCAR Club Challenge’s sessions at Hockenheim in 2019. This was achieved during FP1 as his time of 50.752 was just enough to beat Dauenhauer to the top, a result that also makes him the first to beat the seemingly all-conquering trio of Dauenhauer, Doubek, and Tziortzis.

Elsewhere, Naveh Talor also impressed as he managed to slot the No. 90 Not Only Motorsport Camaro into third place in FP1. Unfortunately, he failed to improve his time on the afternoon Practice session and would only be classified in 9th place in the combined timesheets.

Another driver that makes a strong impression is Max Lanza, who managed to make his way to the Top 5 as the fastest Legend Trophy driver on Friday. He also became the only Legend Trophy driver to set a sub 51-second lap time with a fastest lap time of 50.831. Teammate Arianna Casoli tops the Lady Trophy classifications with a time of 53.832 despite not taking part in FP1 due to the mechanical issues that the No. 54 team suffered on Friday’s Practice sessions.

EuroNASCAR 2 Combined Practice Times

RANK DRIVER FP1 TIME FP2 TIME
1. Tobias Dauenhauer (50) 50.757 50.410
2. Martin Doubek (7) 51.307 50.451
3. Simon Pilate (66) 51.057 50.525
4. Advait Deodhar (56) 50.752 50.538
5. Max Lanza (88) 51.757 50.831
6. Pierluigi Veronesi (27) 52.472 50.851
7. Vladimiros Tziortzis (1) 52.181 50.886
8. Leevi Lintukanto (23) 51.583 51.021
9. Naveh Talor (90) 51.056 51.189
10. Francesco Garisto (17) 51.311 51.110
11. Evgeny Sokolovsky (48) 51.650 51.121
12. Alberto Panebianco (89) 51.620 52.196
13. Justin Kunz (22) 51.927 51.637
14. Michael Bleekemolen (69) 52.243 51.859
15. Ian Eric Waden (44) 52.056 52.028
16. Shaun Hollamby (77) 52.232 52.674
17. Thomas Krasonis (2) 53.389 52.251
18. Matthias Hauer (64) 53.749 55.420
19. Arianna Casoli (54) No Time 53.832
20. Miguel Gomes (46) 53.909 No Time
21. Alina Loibnegger (12) 56.113 56.018

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

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