The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is back at Autodrom Most and Qualifying already provided plenty of action at the 4.2 kilometer long track. While Alon Day continued to dominate in EuroNASCAR PRO with the fastest lap time, local hero Martin Doubek edged Vladimiros Tziortzis in EuroNASCAR 2. With two races coming up on Saturday, the massive Czech crowd can expect phenomenal pure NASCAR racing.
Both Day and Doubek grabbed their first Pole Award at the beautiful Czech facility but especially for the latter, it was an emotional qualifying session in front of his fans. While the reigning EuroNASCAR 2 Champion will start on pole for the first time in the 2022 EuroNASCAR 2 season, Day will make his fourth start from first place in the current EuroNASCAR PRO championship.
EuroNASCAR PRO: A perfect Day
Alon Day picked up where he left on Friday, when he already topped the standings in Free Practice: The Israeli was fastest in Q1 by clocking a 1:40.066-lap, the fastest until that point this race weekend. In the Superpole shootout, a 1:40.126-lap was good enough to win the Pole Award and secure the most wanted starting position on the 28-car grid. The stellar performance of the PK Carsport driver will for sure put pressure on a competition that is hungry for a race win.
“It was helpful to have clean air, especially at a track like this where you have fast corners and you don’t want to hit traffic and slow your car,” said Day after the Superpole session. “But it’s not about that I think, it’s about PK Carsport! They did an amazing job and worked really hard in the off-season. I got married but I didn’t go on my honeymoon as I was working to come here and be at my best! Hopefully we’ll keep the same performance during the race and we’ll be here for the post-race interview.”
Day was 0.440 seconds faster than local hero Doubek, who stormed to second in the closing stages of Superpole. The Czech, driving the #7 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang, edged Nicolo Rocca by only 0.025 seconds, relegating the Italian CAAL Racing driver to the second row on the grid. Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, who finished in the top-3 back in 2021 at Most, ended up fourth while Brands Hatch race winner Alexander Graff rounded out the top-5.
Belgian racing legend Marc Goossens set the sixth fastest lap time followed by Vallelunga race winner Gianmarco Ercoli, NWES veteran Frederic Gabillon, Romain Iannetta and Patrick Lemarie, who won an ELMS race at Most back in 2001. Giorgio Maggi was the fastest Junior Trophy driver in eleventh right ahead of Liam Hezemans and Leonardo Colavita. The Challenger Trophy was topped by Henri Tuomaala in 14th, while NWES returnee Yann Zimmer took 16th position.
EuroNASCAR 2: Local hero on top of the standings
Doubek made the Czech crowd go crazy in a thrilling EuroNASCAR 2 Qualifying session. The local hero topped the standings after 20 intense minutes with a stellar 1:40.752, but his competitors were not far away. It was the first ever pole position for Doubek at his hometrack at Most and the first in the 2022 NWES season.
“It’s really nice, we finally did it! It was really close in EuroNASCAR 2 but finally we did it. I will start from first position now and from the first row in EuroNASCAR PRO, so I’m really happy and I hope I will give a nice show for our fans and for the Czech spectators here,” said the Hendriks Motorsport driver, the home crowd’s favorite for this week.
Vladimiros Tziortzis has his sails set to beat the rookies in the 2022 EuroNASCAR 2 championship battle and the Cypriot showed a strong performance on his Academy Motorsport / Alex Caffi Motorsport EuroNASCAR FJ. He finished the session behind Doubek and missed what would have been his sixth pole in 2022 by just a mere 0.155 seconds. Unfortunately, Tziortzis got in trouble in the last lap of qualifying and was forced to stop his car off track.
Championship leader Alberto Naska ended up third on an unknown track for him. The Italian topped the standings in Free Practice on Friday and studied the racing lines of the EuroNASCAR PRO drivers to optimize his driving style at the high speed track. Despite lacking experience, the CAAL Racing driver put up another strong performance in EuroNASCAR 2 and topped the Rookie Trophy standings.
Another title contender and Rookie Trophy driver followed in fourth: Liam Hezemans recovered from a crash he suffered from in Free Practice thanks to a strong effort put in by his team during the night. The Finn Tuomas Pontinen followed in fifth and completed the top-5. Gil Linster ended up sixth in his second outing at Autodrom Most and therefore edged Claudio Cappelli, who’s competing in the Rookie and Legend Trophy.
Christian Malcharek followed in eighth ahead of Ulysse Delsaux and rookie Paul Jouffreau. Aliyyah Koloc, another local driver, topped the Lady Trophy standings in twelfth and beat Luli Del Castello, Alina Loibnegger and reigning Lady Trophy champion Arianna Casoli. The 14-lap race on Saturday promises a lot of action and a big show for the fans at the track.
All races of the NASCAR GP Czech Republic will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and several TV services from around the world.