Academy Motorsport is prepared for the team’s return to their home track at Vallelunga with plenty of optimism and enthusiasm being showcased from all of the team’s drivers in the build up to this year’s edition of NASCAR GP Italy.
Academy Motorsport entered the third round of the 2022 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series with plenty of enthusiasm as the team returns to their home track at Vallelunga.
Jacques Villeneuve scored the team’s first ever victories on last year’s edition of NASCAR GP Italy and with the success that the likes of Vladimiros Tziortzis and Patrick Lemarié had achieved this season, Vallelunga is expected to be another strong weekend for Alex Caffi and Federico Monti’s team.
“It’s always emotional to race on our home track,” said team manager and driver Federico Monti. “I consider this track one of the most beautiful in the entire circus. The aim is to do our best as always and we hope to obtain important results.”
“The team has really worked hard to make us competitive and prepared for the challenges that will be ahead of us. The drivers are looking forward to demonstrating their potential, and so am I. As far as the Club Challenge is concerned, the only thing I hope is that the heat will not be extreme.”
Patrick Lemarié will arrive at Vallelunga after a strong weekend at Brands Hatch saw him score a double Top-10 finish for the first time in his EuroNASCAR career. The 54-year old French-Andorran driver has shown no signs of slowing down this year and with Lemarié driving the car that won at Vallelunga with his FEED Racing partner Villeneuve, expectations are high for him to follow up on JV’s success.
“I am more than ready for Vallelunga!” said Lemarié. “I like the track and it is even more important because it is the team’s home race, so I’m very motivated to get a great result.”
Lemarié’s teammate Vladimiros Tziortzis is also excited to be racing at Vallelunga after scoring a double podium finish in the previous round at Brands Hatch. The Cypriot currently sits 3rd in the EuroNASCAR 2 championship, 15 points behind CAAL Racing’s Alberto “Naska” Fontana.
“I am ready for this event at a circuit I like a lot, I have prepared myself well and as I did in Valencia I want to get on the top step of the podium,” said Tziortzis on his expectations for Vallelunga.
Academy’s ENPRO rookie driver Thomas Krasonis would like to forget the miserable weekend that he experienced at Brands Hatch, but nevertheless the experience that he has so far allowed the Greek driver to examine what he needs to do to improve as one of EuroNASCAR’s top class drivers.
“It’s always great to race here in Italy because it’s an interesting circuit and I have good memories here!” said Krasonis, who currently sits 23rd in the standings. “I think to be more competitive in ENPRO, I have to push harder and get faster which is a decisive factor at a track like this one.”
For Kasparas Vingilis, this week’s round at Vallelunga will mark his first start at the track as a driver in EuroNASCAR’s two main classes. The Lithuanian driver is excited to apply the experience that he has gained on the first two rounds this year for his first proper go at the 4.085 km-long circuit.
“Last year I had a spot race so I will adapt more quickly to the track, racing in Italy is always exciting,” said Vingilis, who made his Euro Series debut in Club Challenge at Vallelunga last year. “Of course it has been an incredible start to the season with me getting to know the new team, learning new tracks and becoming more familiar with the new car, but I am firmly convinced that we will finish this season in the best possible way.”
Disclaimer: Unless noted on the photo, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Bart Dehaese / Klemen Sofric.