Academy Motorsport ended their 2022 season on top after scoring a victory and four podium finishes courtesy of Patrick Lemarié and Vladimiros Tziortzis, allowing the team to finish the year as the best performing team of the weekend at Rijeka. 

Academy Motorsport ended their 2022 season with a bang thanks to the excellent results that the team’s lead drivers Patrick Lemarié and Vladimiros Tziortzis scored in the season finale at Croatia’s Automotodrom Grobnik.

The star of the weekend is undoubtedly the Frenchman Patrick Lemarié, who had a stellar weekend at Rijeka. Lemarié, who had been struggling with bad luck over the course of the 2022 EuroNASCAR season, finally had a weekend where everything went his way as he scored his first front-row start, first podium finish and first EuroNASCAR victory in three consecutive sessions to give the 54-year old his best weekend in stock car racing so far.

“Two really wonderful and very important podiums after a long time both for me, as a driver, but also for the team as well!” said Lemarié, who gave Academy their first EuroNASCAR PRO win since Lemarie’s best friend Jacques Villeneuve swept the 2021 season finale weekend at Vallelunga.

“It was essential for me to repay Academy Motorsport for all the effort put in this season, which was certainly not easy and had been full of disappointing moments. Getting on the podium was definitely the best way to show my gratitude.” 

It was also a stellar weekend for Lemarié’s teammate Vladimiros Tziortzis, who competed at Rijeka with barely any recovery time for his injured left arm. Tziortzis was all but eliminated from the EuroNASCAR 2 title race at Rijeka after what happened to him at Zolder, but the Cypriot made sure to end his season on a high note with a double podium finish that secured him third place in the overall standings.

“It was a complicated season, starting from Valencia with the penalty received, to the engine failure in Vallelunga to the broken wrist in Belgium, but despite everything we arrived at the end with a beautiful victory that remained my main goal and that repays all the incredible work done by the Academy team,” said Tziortzis on his performance at Rijeka. 

“The battle for the title was really tight with many contenders separated from each other by only a few points. In today’s race I tailed Liam [Hezemans] to the end, but I was also being careful to always keep Alberto Naska behind and not take any unnecessary risks. Now we plan the next season, for which I think I am ready for the next step which is ENPRO.”

As for Kasparas Vingilis, he had a challenging weekend at Rijeka with a DNS on the first race and being forced to start from the pits in the second race.”It was definitely an intense challenge for the whole championship and today starting from the pit lane and being last was an extra motivation to get a good finishing position,” said the Lithuanian rookie.

Team co-owner Federico Monti, who also contributed to Academy’s amazing weekend with a podium finish that he scored in the Club Challenge division on Friday, is undoubtedly proud of what the team had achieved last weekend.

“It’s an incredible weekend!” said Monti in the post-race press release. “Today’s win and Patrick’s podium yesterday were incredible, a beautiful result that is also a recognition for all the work done by the team.” 

“Vladimiros also ran two incredible races with a wonderful cheer from all the fans who came from Cyprus! I want to say thank you to all the guys in the mechanics team who prepared a really competitive car thanks to Bill, our chief engineer, to Patrick himself who helped with his experience to perfect the car. Congratulations to Vladimiros as well, who is an outstanding driver as well as being an incredible guy!”

Disclaimer: Unless noted on the photo, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Bart Dehaese / Klemen Sofric.

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