The battle for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series crowns is on and Free Practice on Friday gave a first idea of the title contenders’ pace. In EuroNASCAR PRO reigning champion Alon Day topped the standings by clocking a 1:40.859-lap on the asphalt of the Autodromo di Vallelunga in Italy. In EuroNASCAR 2, championship leader Tobias Dauenhauer was the fastest driver in the combined result of both 30-minute sessions.
The Autodromo di Vallelunga is hosting the EuroNASCAR Finals for the first time since its introduction in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series calendar in 2020. The 4-km long track 30 minutes North of Italy’s capital city Rome is a tough challenge for drivers due to its unique character and combination of high-speed straights and low-speed corners.
EuroNASCAR PRO: Alon Day strikes back
To become the first ever four-time NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion, Alon Day needs a perfect weekend and help from Lady Luck at Vallelunga. The Israeli was fastest in the combined result of Free Practice with a 1:40.859-lap. Driving the #88 CAAL Racing Monster Energy Chevrolet Camaro, the 29-year-old was 0.145 seconds faster than his teammate Gianmarco Ercoli, who’s also a championship contender in the 2021 EuroNASCAR PRO season. The Italian was the fastest driver in the Junior Trophy.
NWES veteran Lucas Lasserre was third at the wheel of the #64 Speedhouse Ford Mustang – 0.251 seconds shy of Day at the top of the standings. Former Formula One champion and Indy 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve followed in fourth driving the #5 Academy Motorsport / Alex Caffi Motorsport EuroNASCAR FJ. Championship leader Loris Hezemans rounded out the top-5 0.367 seconds behind the Israeli.
The Hendriks Motorsport driver leads the championship 21 points ahead of Vittorio Ghirelli, who ended up tenth in Free Practice. The top 8 drivers were separated by less than one second. Hendriks Motorsport’s Giorgio Maggi from Switzerland ended up sixth and second in the Junior Trophy.
DF1 Racing’s Nicolo Rocca followed in seventh ahead of Sebastiaan Bleekemolen. Francesco Sini bested Ghirelli to finish ninth. Henri Tuomaala was the fastest Challenger Trophy driver in twelfth, while Dario Caso was 14th and Yevgen Sokolovskiy 16th. Reigning Challenger Trophy champion Davide Dallara ended up 17th in the combined result.
EuroNASCAR 2: Tobias Dauenhauer on title course?
In EuroNASCAR 2, Tobias Dauenhauer reinforced his title ambitions by clocking the fastest lap in both 30-minutes free practice sessions. The German driving the #50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang was 0.421 seconds faster than second-placed Vladimiros Tziortzis, who’s piloting the #1 Academy Motorsport / Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang. Three weeks ago at Circuit Zolder, the Cypriot grabbed his first ever Pole Award and will be fighting for another Pole Position on Saturday morning.
DF1 Racing youngster Simon Pilate followed in third, 0.811 seconds shy of the German on top of the standings. Hendriks Motorsport’s NWES veteran Martin Doubek, who sits in second in the overall standings just 3 points behind Dauenhauer, ended up fourth, while Pilate’s teammate Justin Kunz rounded out the top-5. CAAL Racing’s Max Lanza was the fastest Legend Trophy driver in sixth ahead of his teammate Advait Deodhar.
Pierluigi Veronesi and Francesco Garisto finished eighth and ninth in the combined result. Leevi Lintukanto, who completed the top-10, topped the Rookie Trophy standings, followed by Thomas Krasonis and Legend Trophy title contender Yevgen Sokolovskiy. Due to technical issues, Rookie Trophy leader Alberto Panebianco did not turn a single fast lap in both sessions. Alina Loibnegger had the better hand in the Lady Trophy against Arianna Casoli.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Finals will take place on October 30-31 at Autodromo di Vallelunga in Italy. Qualifying and all races will be broadcasted at all EuroNASCAR platforms – YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, NWES App – and Motorsport.tv.