Alon Day and Tobias Dauenhauer starts off their participation in the 2021 edition of NASCAR GP Belgium on a high note after both driver claimed the top spot in Friday’s Practice, leading both Practice sessions in the process.

NASCAR Whelen Euro Series started off their regular season finale at Zolder with the traditional Friday Practice sessions which would ultimately saw Alon Day and Tobias Dauenhauer claimed the top spot in the combined Practice timesheets for EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2 respectively, leading both sessions in the process.

In the EuroNASCAR PRO Practice sessions, Day came out on top with a best lap time of 1:37.463 as he aims to try gain as many points as possible during Hezemans’ absence. Despite this, he had to fend off a strong challenge from his former teammate Stienes Longin, who is returning to EuroNASCAR for the first time since the Valencia doubleheader last year.

Stienes would end the day in second with a best lap time of 1:37.479, just 0.016 seconds behind Day. Fellow championship contender Gianmarco Ercoli was the last driver to set a sub-1:38 lap time throughout Friday, setting a time of 1:37.918 to put himself in third behind Day and Stienes.

Vittorio Ghirelli came home fourth in the combined timesheets while Marc Goossens – now driving CAAL’s No. 56 Ford after he made a last-minute team switch – ends his day fifth to put all three CAAL cars in the Top 5 positions.

Lucas Lasserre just misses out on the Top 5 positions in sixth ahead of Sebastiaan Bleekemolen and Giorgio Maggi while Patrick Lemarie enjoyed a fine outing in his first ride for Academy Motorsport’s No. 5 team. Lemarie, who is replacing Jacques Villeneuve on the No. 5 team, would finish 9th in the combined timesheets with a best lap time of 1:38.673.

Nicolo Rocca completes the Top 10 while teammate Henri Tuomaala finished the day as the best Challenger Trophy driver in 12th. Finishing right behind Tuomaala is Canal+ analyst Pierre Combot, who finished Friday’s Practice sessions in 13th place on his EuroNASCAR debut for Marko Stipp Motorsport.

Issues were encountered by Martin Doubek, who failed to set a lap time due to mechanical issues while Shadow’s Bernardo Manfre didn’t set a lap time on either session.

EuroNASCAR PRO Combined Practice Times

RANK DRIVER FP1 TIME FP2 TIME
1. Alon Day (88) 1:37.463 1:37.463
2. Stienes Longin (11) 1:37.805 1:37.479
3. Gianmarco Ercoli (54) 1:38.266 1:37.918
4. Vittorio Ghirelli (50) 1:38.914 1:38.069
5. Marc Goossens (56) 1:38.416 1:38.091
6. Lucas Lasserre (64) 1:38.363 1:38.218
7. Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (69) 1:38.331 1:38.756
8. Giorgio Maggi (18) 1:39.364 1:38.666
9. Patrick Lemarie (5) 1:39.257 1:38.673
10. Nicolò Rocca (22) 1:39.265 1:38.776
11. Francesco Sini (12) 1:40.983 1:39.033
12. Henri Tuomaala (23) 1:40.404 1:39.233
13. Pierre Combot (46) 1:40.528 1:39.289
14. Ulysse Delsaux (10) 1:40.050 1:39.318
15. Simon Pilate (66) 1:40.418 1:39.450
16. Leonardo Colavita (9) 1:40.589 1:39.577
17. Davide Dallara (89) 1:39.655 1:39.661
18. Martin Doubek (7) 1:39.911 No Time
19. Evgeny Sokolovsky (48) 1:40.767 1:40.473
20. Dario Caso (8) 1:41.658 1:40.766
21. Ian Eric Waden (44) 1:43.837 1:42.079
22. Nicolo Gabossi (90) 1:42.851 1:42.221
23. Federico Monti (2) 1:44.013 1:43.431
24. Bernardo Manfre (17) No Time No Time

Despite looking likely to stay on top of the standings at the end of the weekend thanks to the dropped points, Tobias Dauenhauer continued to stamp his domination on the EuroNASCAR 2 field as he became the only EN2 driver to set a sub-1:39 lap time during Friday to put himself on top of the combined timesheets.

Advait Deodhar was the closest driver to Dauenhauer on Friday, finishing in second with a best lap time of 1:39.225 despite not setting a lap time in FP1 due to clutch issues. Finishing behind Deodhar is Team Bleekemolen’s replacement driver Melvin de Groot, who enjoyed Team Bleekemolen’s best outing in the junior class as of yet.

Academy’s Vladimiros Tziortzis and Shadow’s Francesco Garisto completes the Top 5 ahead of Naveh Talor, who once again performed strongly in Not Only Motorsport’s No. 90 Camaro.

Simon Pilate – who will be doing the double duty in the No. 66 Camaro this weekend – finished the day in 7th ahead of fellow double duty driver Evgeny Sokolovsky, who was the fastest of the Legend Trophy drivers. Max Lanza and Leonardo Colavita completes the Top 10.

More than a few drivers experienced mechanical issues on their car that prevented them from making a competitive lap time on Friday. Apart from Deodhar, Alina Loibnegger also failed to set a lap time in FP1 while Eric Quintal failed to set a lap time in FP2.

On the other hand, Martin Doubek didn’t even set a lap time on either session as the mechanical problems suffered by the No. 7 Orion Ford just after ENPRO’s FP1 session proved to be too much for the Hendriks team to fix for the day.

EuroNASCAR 2 Combined Practice Times

RANK DRIVER FP1 TIME FP2 TIME
1. Tobias Dauenhauer (50) 1:38.845 1:39.092
2. Advait Deodhar (56) No Time 1:39.225
3. Melvin de Groot (69) 1:39.535 1:40.741
4. Vladimiros Tziortzis (1) 1:39.575 1:39.894
5. Francesco Garisto (42) 1:40.203 1:39.596
6. Naveh Talor (90) 1:39.707 1:40.564
7. Simon Pilate (66) 1:40.520 1:39.732
8. Evgeny Sokolovsky (48) 1:40.861 1:40.020
9. Max Lanza (88) 1:40.039 1:40.762
10. Leonardo Colavita (9) 1:40.048 1:40.806
11. Justin Kunz (22) 1:40.450 1:40.095
12. Alberto Panebianco (89) 1:40.192 1:40.122
13. Leevi Lintukanto (23) 1:41.635 1:40.202
14. Pierluigi Veronesi (27) 1:40.557 1:40.353
15. Gil Linster (77) 1:40.365 1:42.120
16. Pol van Pollaert (11) 1:41.021 1:41.594
17. Thomas Krasonis (2) 1:43.060 1:41.461
18. Ian Eric Wadén (44) 1:43.040 1:41.846
19. Miguel Gomes (46) 1:42.776 1:41.886
20. Paolo Valeri (8) 1:42.731 1:44.070
21. Eric Quintal (64) 1:46.691 No Time
22. Alina Loibnegger (12) No Time 1:47.343
23. Arianna Casoli (54) 1:50.314 1:50.694
24. Martin Doubek (7) No Time No Time

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

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