Iceboys Racing enters this week’s NASCAR GP Czech Republic with plenty of optimism after Henri Tuomaala scored a maiden victory on his Porsche Sprint Challenge NEZ debut yesterday while Tuomas Pöntinen is aiming to score another podium finish at Most.
The Iceboys Racing duo of Henri Tuomaala and Tuomas Pöntinen will enter this week’s NASCAR GP Czech Republic with plenty of optimism after a highly successful outing on each driver’s latest racing event.
Tuomaala, who’s currently 10th on the overall EuroNASCAR PRO standings, was given the chance to compete in the final round of this year’s Porsche Sprint Challenge NEZ series at Alastaro Circuit last week. Tuomaala competed as a debutant in the No. 39 Team 39 entry, acting as the teammate of Jonne Kurikka and Jani Käkelä.
Despite having no previous experience with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars used in the Porsche Sprint Challenge NEZ, Tuomaala took the opportunity with both hands as he dominated the weekend at Alastaro, taking pole position and winning all three races that are scheduled.
Such was Tuomaala’s domination that his victories were won by “a yawning gap to others” according to the official report published by Porsche Sprint Challenge NEZ.
“It went perfectly!” said Tuomaala on his Porsche Sprint Challenge NEZ debut outing. “I was able to drive 5 sessions before the official practice sessions and I quickly got used to the car. A Porsche like that is a really nice car to drive, but on the other hand it’s a different type of car compared to the equipment for the upcoming weekend.”
Autodrom Most has been a track that suits Tuomaala well. Tuomaala has scored two Top-10 finishes at Most and an 8th place finish on the second Most race in 2019 was his career best before his 7th place finish at Vallelunga back in July.
Tuomaala also briefly ran in second during last year’s famous dry-to-wet race, staying out on the slicks until the halfway point of the race where he had to make a pit stop for a set of wet tires along with Jacques Villeneuve, who also stayed out on slicks for as long as he did.
“We will try and get a good performance right from the Qualifying. The track starts with a tight chicane, but it’s smooth and there is also a difference in elevation. I have raced there a couple of times and I like the track,” explained Tuomaala about his expectation for Most.
As for Pöntinen, his participation at Most was only announced yesterday when ThreeWide revealed that Pöntinen will be competing in the No. 23 Team Bleekemolen Ford Mustang in place of Leevi Lintukanto, whom we previously reported to be taking part at Most based on the Provisional Entry List data released by NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
The results from Pöntinen’s debut EuroNASCAR 2 campaign has showcased his capabilities behind an EuroNASCAR stock car as he demonstrated in the previous round at Vallelunga where he scored a runner-up finish in Race 2, making him the first Finnish driver to score a podium finish in EuroNASCAR.
With the boost of confidence from the Vallelunga podium, Pöntinen has declared his intention to be on the podium fight once more for his maiden outing at Autodrom Most.
“It will be a shame if I’m not on the podium,” said Pöntinen on the upcoming round at Most. “In Italy I missed one practice session completely, but let’s hope that everything works out now.”
“We have to be awake in Qualifying and if the pole position is not yet in the cards, at least the time difference to the leaders has to be smaller than in Vallelunga. It’s a new track for me, but I’ll try to get some simulator time on it.”
Disclaimer: Unless noted on the photo, all photos used in this article are courtesy of Iceboys Racing / Henri Tuomaala and NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Klemen Sofric.