Credits: Tony Blanchard

During the first weekend of New Smyrna’s World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing last weekend, Gil Linster secured an impressive top-10 finish on his first United States race in more than two years.

CAAL Racing’s EuroNASCAR 2 driver Gil Linster returned to the United States for his first race in America in more than two years on 11-12 February. The Luxembourger raced the first weekend of New Smyrna Speedway’s World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing as one of the 35 drivers entered in World Series’ Pro Late Model class. 

Linster signed a deal with local outfit 1X Racing to race the team’s No. 1X Ford Fusion at New Smyrna in a field that featured NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular Gus Dean, ARCA Menards Series driver Toni Breidinger and top NASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series driver Ryan Luza, bringing his personal sponsor Verge Currency as his primary sponsor for the weekend.

“It feels so good to be back!” said Linster to “It’s great to be racing here in the States and I have the perfect support this year with a team that takes this World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing very seriously.” 

Linster started his weekend on a high note after he finished 18th in the Thursday free practice sessions before qualifying 13th with a time of 18.478 seconds for the first race in Friday’s Qualifying session, just 0.122 seconds off from the pole time set by Tennessee’s Chase Johnson.

Credits: 1X Racing / NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

In a race that featured plenty of action and crashes, Linster kept his car clean in the first race to secure an 8th place finish. It was his first top-10 finish in the World Series, an event that Linster had already participated in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a temporary break in his American racing activities.

“As a driver I am very tough with myself, but I’m really happy with eighth place considering the top teams that were in the race!” said the Luxembourger on his performance in race 1. “I had a bit of luck with my strong qualifying lap that other fast riders didn’t get, so I was able to stay around them but stay safe and defensive.”

“It was a brilliant experience to learn and the level is incredibly high as they race almost twice a week. It was a brand new car and some circumstances were not easy. I had an amazing coach for the races and that really made a difference.”

Credits: 1X Racing / NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

Sadly, he wasn’t be able to keep up his strong performance in Sunday’s race that closed out week one of the World Series. The colder weather that set into New Smyrna that day, coupled with a worse qualifying effort, threw a spanner in Linster’s efforts as he was only able to finish 17th in race 2.

“It was pretty cold in Florida and I just didn’t get the car to turn properly,” said the 29-year old to RTL. “When you’re at the back of the pack and you’re not riding with those guys, it’s extremely difficult to get ahead.” 

“But I learned a lot at these Speedweeks and it was a lot of fun! I want to say a big thank you to the 1X Racing team as they gave me the opportunity to drive there.”

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Bart Dehaese

Linster has yet to announce which series he is going to race for in the 2023 season, but he said to that he’s currently finalizing his plans for a return to EuroNASCAR this year.

“At the moment we are finalizing our plans for the 2023 NWES season and we are very confident to be back on the grid and competing for race wins,” said Linster on his 2023 status. “But it is too early to announce any details about my plans for next season in Europe. I love NASCAR racing and I’m looking forward to attacking again this year.”

Disclaimer: Credits for all photos are listed underneath each image.


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