Solaris Motorsport experienced yet another mixed weekend at Autodrom Most as lead driver Francesco Sini expressed his frustrations to the Race Control, claiming that the Race Control gave “all the fault” to him on the incident that ultimately led to his disqualification in the second EuroNASCAR PRO race.
Solaris Motorsport returns to full-strength in the OMV MaxxMotion NASCAR Show at Autodrom Most as Francesco Sini returns to the wheel of the No. 12 NRG MED Camaro following his absence at Brands Hatch. Despite an overall improvement in the pace for both the Solaris Camaro and the allied Double V Ford, further retirements ultimately led to another mixed weekend for the Italian team at the Czech Republic.
In the EuroNASCAR 2 division, Alina Loibnegger continues to gain more experience as she brought home a victory in the Lady Trophy on Saturday’s wet race, finishing 14th overall and managing to stay on the lead lap.
A spin in Sunday’s race would prevent her from claiming a double win in the Lady Trophy, although she still managed to score a career-best 11th place finish and missed out on a first career Top-10 finish by just 2.5 seconds.
For Pierluigi Veronesi in the allied Double V car, the struggle continues as the he struggled to find the pace that he had in the season opening round at Valencia. Saturday proved to be a tough one as he finished outside of the Top-10 in both Qualifying and Race 1, although he was able to set the second-best fastest lap of the race to put himself on the front row for Race 2.
Unfortunately for him, luck deserted him during the race as he was taken out in a collision with his former teammate Advait Deodhar on the opening lap, putting him out of the race instantly. The results at Most meant that Veronesi now drops down to 9th in the championship standings, 60 points behind championship leader Tobias Dauenhauer.
For Solaris’ lead driver Francesco Sini, he had an even more frustrating weekend at Most. Sini took a gamble in Race 1 by staying out longer than the other drivers when the rain came, putting himself in the fight for the lead despite the treacherous conditions.
Eventually, the rain forced Sini to change to a wet weather tires and a disastrous stint in the wets saw Sini spun out three times in a span of 2 laps before he retired after he backed his car into the wall at Turn 15 late in the race.
Race 2 was poised to be Sini’s breakthrough in 2021 gmas his times during the dry portion of Race 1 was enough to secure 6th place on the grid. Things, however, soon went downhill when Sini collided with the No. 5 car of Jacques Villeneuve on the run to Turn 1, clipping the No. 90 car of Andrea Nori and sending his car airborne in the process.
The stewards determined that the incident was Sini’s fault and handed him a drive-through penalty. Despite the penalty and the damage suffered on his car, Sini continued on without serving his penalty and he was subsequently disqualified for failing to serve his penalty after the checkered flag was waved.
Sini, however, was adamant that he had been tapped on the rear before his collision with Villeneuve and the drive-through penalty – and subsequent disqualification – that he received was a wrong call by the Race Control.
“It’s very frustrating what happened in Race 2 at Autodrom Most,” explains Sini on social media. “I had a very competitive car and I was looking for a trophy for my little son just arrived. Unfortunately at the start, before Turn 1, my Camaro was heavily hit in the rear by another driver.”
“Someone in the Race Control gave all the fault to me! Yes, I’m sorry, I believed I can fly but I was not able to do it! So sorry! Despite all the damages on the car, I didn’t give up, I recovered with a flat out race and I finished in P8. Not what we worked for but good after the chaotic start.”
“We tried to explain and to show to the Race Control that in Turn 1 we were the victim and not the killer but [there’s] no way. Excluded due ignoring a wrong DT as all the video and the picture shows. I prefer don’t tell about that anymore.”
Regardless of whether Sini was at fault or not, the retirement in Race 1 and the disqualification in Race 2 meant that Sini is still sitting outside of the Top 20 in the championship standings. He currently sits in 25th place with just 51 points, more than 150 points behind championship leader Loris Hezemans, and with just three rounds to go it looks as if his championship aspiration this year is over already.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Bart Dehaese / Klemen Sofric.