Racers Motorsport’s Dario Caso and Paolo Valeri experienced a mixed set of results on last week’s American SpeedFest 9 as they couldn’t get the final results that they felt they were capable of despite showing promising pace throughout the weekend.
American SpeedFest 9 proved to be a mixed, yet promising weekend for the Scuderia Speed Motor and Racers Motorsport duo of Dario Caso and Paolo Valeri as the No. 8 Italicus team returned to Brands Hatch for the first time since 2019 following the team’s decision to skip the round last year.
Practice went smoothly for Caso after he completed two incident-free sessions and finished inside the Top-20 in the combined timesheets. Qualifying went even better for the 59-year old Italian as he was able to qualify his car in 15th place despite being part of the supposedly less advantageous Group 1.
The subsequent first race also went well for Caso as he was able to translate his Top-15 qualifying effort with a Top-15 finish in 14th place. Caso’s Top-15 pace remained on the Sunday race, but he only finished in 20th place after he was forced to restart from the back of the grid on the final restart due to a tire rub.
Nevertheless, the results were enough to put Caso six positions up in the standings as he exited the SpeedFest in 22nd place with 60 points, losing out to a best finish tiebreaker from Buggyra ZM Racing’s Aliyyah Koloc.
“What happened was that after the Safety Car came, they told me to restart in last position because smoke was coming out from the back of the car. It looked like there’s an electrical problem and instead it was because of the tires,” said Caso on Scuderia Speed Motor’s recent official release.
“What can we say? We are there on the lap times because we can keep the pace of the best, but we lack the results. We need a little more luck and at the same time we need to put in more tenacity. Now we will prepare to do well in Vallelunga.”
The results were more mixed for Caso’s sophomore teammate Paolo Valeri though. Practice and Qualifying went smoothly for Valeri as he finished inside the Top-20 on both sessions.
Valeri’s pace improved significantly during the Saturday race and he was on the cusp of finishing in 13th place when he got stuck on the outside lane during Paul Jouffreau and Racers teammate Leonardo Colavita’s Overtime crash at Graham Hill Bend, relegating him to 20th place at the checkered flag after some of his rivals were able to sneak by on the inside.
Valeri was again on the pace to finish inside the Top-15 on the Sunday race when he crashed at Paddock Hill Bend with just 3 laps to go. The incident, which would bring the Sunday race to Overtime once again, would leave him classified in 22nd place as the last retirement of the race.
Valeri now sits in 28th place on the EuroNASCAR 2 standings at the conclusion of the SpeedFest, four places up from where he was after the season opening round in Valencia.
“I was trying to attack for the Top-10 because I wanted to come home with some points in the standings, but the mistake compromised everything,” explained Valeri about his crash on Sunday. “It’s too bad because racing in front of almost 40 thousand spectators was really a spectacle, especially since I found myself on a track that was not easy to read, to which I was not accustomed to and also requires constant and total concentration.”
“On the positive side, there is the car and the exceptional development work that the team is doing. The numbers to do well were all there and we hope to finally be able to capitalize on our efforts in the next round.”
Disclaimer: Unless noted on the photo, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Klemen Sofric