Gordon Barnes made history on the opening day of the 2023 EuroNASCAR Finals at Circuit Zolder. With a victory at the end two exciting double-points sessions at the 4.010 kilometer circuit, the Brit successfully defended his Club Challenge title and became the first driver to collect three overall wins in EuroNASCAR’s regularity based division. Barnes achieved this feat by topping the sheets in both sessions in Belgium, allowing him to score his third win of the season and retain his crown for the third year in a row.
The driver of the #46 Marko Stipp Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro perfected his craft in the wet weather conditions. Barnes made one perfect lap after another and ensured that he matched his target time as closely as possible. Such was his consistency that he amassed less than one second of total penalty time. With double points on the line, Barnes scored the maximum points in Belgium and ended his season with a 33 point advantage from Speedhouse Racing’s Florian Richard.
“It’s just great and we came here with double points on the line and tight championship standings,” said Barnes. “The sessions today were difficult with the changing weather conditions and we’ve been really tested in the cars today. It was just our day today, it was just brilliant. There was no better way to finish another amazing season. I’m a three-time Club Challenge winner now and I’m absolutely happy. Thanks to my team Marko Stipp Motorsport for the great job!”
Richard gave his best and scored his fourth podium of the season, but he ultimately came up short in the championship battle. The French rookie was beaten by his experienced teammate Alain Mosqueron for second place in the first session, but he turned things around and finished ahead of the two-time overall winner in the second session. Richard and Mosqueron scored the same amount of points, but Richard claimed second because he had a better penalty time in the second timed session.
Federico Monti missed out on the podium despite claiming bonus points for choosing the faster reference time in both sessions. The co-owner of Academy / Alex Caffi Motorsport beat Frederic Rouviere, who rounded the top-5 positions on his Club Challenge debut. Arianna Casoli’s strong performance in the first session allowed her to beat Edouard Fatio, who tied the Italian’s points tally.
Viktor Schiffer, Reza Sardeha and Constantin Scholl completed the final results. Schiffer encountered problems when he chose the faster reference time in the first session, but he ended his day on a high note with a fourth place finish in the second session. That was enough for the Double V Racing driver to beat Sardeha and Scholl, who also made their debuts in the Club Challenge division in Belgium. Sardeha drove the #88 CAAL Racing Chevrolet while Scholl took part in Bremotion’s #99 Chevrolet.
With the first season winner of 2023 crowned, the focus will now shift to the EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2 drivers as they will get themselves prepared for a nail-biting EuroNASCAR Finals. With four races and double points, the action is expected to be highly intense. Tune in to all qualifying sessions and races when it gets broadcasted live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv, and on many TV services around the world.