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.