Vittorio Ghirelli had only one mission ahead of the 2020 EuroNASCAR 2 season finale at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia: to win! The Italian was aggressive and focused from the very beginning of the race and gained position after position coming from ninth on the grid and on lap 7 he made the championship deciding pass on Tobias Dauenhauer to score his sixth NASCAR Whelen Euro Series career win and grab the EuroNASCAR 2 title.
The technical issues in EuroNASCAR 2 Final 1 on Saturday put Ghirelli in a must-win situation while his teammate Dauenhauer, who had an 8-point advantage ahead of the last round of the season, started from pole position and had to keep Ghirelli behind him to win the title.
The German struggled with his #50 Hendriks Motorsport Mustang in the early stages while Ghirelli was flying behind him. The Fasano-native made spectacular passes at the wheel of his #18 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang and climbed up to second place on lap 2 but a caution sent him back to fourth in the running order. At the restart, Ghirelli swiftly passed Nicholas Risitano and Vladimiros Tziortzis for second place and in a few corners chased down Dauenhauer.
With a bold dive in turn 2 on lap 7, Ghirelli took the championship in his hands and was first under the checkered flag after 15 thrilling laps of pure racing. Dauenhauer and Alessandro Brigatti, fourth and fifth under the checkered flag, finished second and third in points. The EuroNASCAR 2 Final 2 podium was rounded out by Risitano and Tziortzis, who had an intense battle for second in the central part of the race.
“It was a very tough race but I had only one option and it was winning it,” said the new EuroNASCAR 2 champion in victory lane. “The car was perfect thanks to the awesome Hendriks Motorsport team. After the drama yesterday with the broken engine, I had to comeback from ninth on the grid and make it happen. We did it. Congratulations to my teammate Tobias, who is an incredibly fast race car driver. He really pushed me to the limits this year. Now I just want to celebrate this championship win.”
While the overall championship win slid out of his hands in the very last race of the season, Dauenhauer was on top of the 2020 Rookie Trophy podium for newcomers in the official European NASCAR series. The German beat Alex Caffi Motorsport / Race Art Technology driver Tziortzis from Cyprus and PK Carsport’s Julia Landauer from the United States of America. The 29-year-old New York native also won the Lady Trophy ahead of NWES Veteran Arianna Casoli and her #54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet. The Rookie Trophy race win went to Tziortzis ahead of Dauenhauer and Simon Pilate.
Casoli on the other hand won the Legend Trophy for drivers aged 40 and older. It was the first time that the two-time Lady Trophy winner grabbed the overall victory in the special classification. She was joined on the podium by Marko Stipp Motorsport’s Yevgen Sokolovskiy, who had a solid debut season in EuroNASCAR. Third place went to Mishumotors driver Eric Quintal from France. The final race in the Legend Trophy was won by Sokolovskiy, who finished ahead of Kenko Miura and Casoli.
While the EuroNASCAR 2 championship will be back in action in the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season that will feature 14 Rounds of pure racing around Europe on 7 different tracks, the EuroNASCAR PRO championship is still on the line. Final 1 will start at 1:10 pm CET while the very last race of the season will begin at 3:55 pm CET at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Spain. Both final races will be broadcasted live on EuroNASCAR’s social media profiles, Motorsport.tv and Kreator TV.