Neo Lambert closing in on Gordon Barnes with Zolder win

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Bart Dehaese

The 2022 Club Challenge season will culminate with a showdown when the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will visit Automotodrom Grobnik in Croatia on October 28. Neo Lambert won the regularity based challenge at Circuit Zolder in dominant fashion and closed the gap on reigning champion Gordon Barnes, who’s still leading the overall standings by just one point. Lambert, driving for Speedhouse, was the most consistent pilot in both 30-minute timed sessions. 

Lambert accumulated a penalty time of 0.280 seconds in session 1 and 0.626 seconds in session two to take the win with 86 points at the legendary track in the woods of Limburg. Barnes defended his lead with his fourth consecutive podium finish in the 2022 Club Challenge season and brought home his #48 Marko Stipp Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro in second place. The duo will face each other for the title in one last event on the Croatian Riviera. 

“I’m really happy after an unlucky Friday at Autodrom Most where we suffered from a real setback due to technical issues on the car,” said the driver of the #40 Ford Mustang. “I think we closed the gap on Gordon in the overall standings and have a shot at winning the title at Automotodrom Grobnik. I’m now looking forward to the grand finale in Croatia and of course I want to win the title.” 

Barnes struggled with the timer in his car and therefore was not able to score a precise lap time in both sessions. Despite this, he still managed to finish second. He said: “I’m not entirely happy with the second place as we came here to rebound from the points we’ve lost at Most. Second at Zolder, I always had a few problems at this track in the past. It was my best result here so far but the championship battle will be much tighter when we head to Croatia for the Finals.” 

NWES veteran Eric Quintal rounded out the podium in third place, while Most Club Challenge winner Federico Monti had to settle for fourth. Lambert’s and Quintal’s Speedhouse teammate Paul Jouffreau completed the top-5 ahead of Thomas Dambrowski, Arianna Casoli, Maximilian Mason and Andreas Kuchelbacher. Julian Vanheelen had a violent crash in the practice session and was therefore forced to sit out both timed sessions.


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