One step to become a king: Vittorio Ghirelli unchallenged in an eventful EuroNASCAR PRO race

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Bart Dehaese

Competitors and Mother Nature threw challenge after challenge at Vittorio Ghirelli in EuroNASCAR PRO Round 5 at Brands Hatch, but he withstood the pressure and fended off all of his rivals’ attacks. The Italian led all 40 laps of racing from Pole Position to secure his fourth win of the 2024 season – the seventh win of his career. The driver of the #24 Chevrolet Camaro fielded by PK Carsport beat youngster Paul Jouffreau and survived a restart caused by a brief rain shower to take his car to Victory Lane at the legendary 1.944 kilometer Indy Circuit of Brands Hatch.

Thousands of fans were treated with the amazing excitement that’s in the DNA of the American SpeedFest, the home of the NASCAR GP UK. Rain hit the track and triggered a Safety Car period on lap 17, but it only went by momentarily and the action resumed on a dry circuit on lap 23, with Race Control extending the race by two laps to a total of 40. Ghirelli managed to keep RDV Competition’s Jouffreau in check on the single-file restart and took the checkered flag ahead of the Frenchman with a margin of victory of just 0.813 seconds.

“I’m really happy with the win, but it was a tough race,” said Ghirelli in Victory Lane. “The rain didn’t help and Paul was really fast so he was pushing me the whole race. When it started to rain I had a moment in Turn 1. After that I didn’t take too many risks, so I won’t be starting from pole for tomorrow’s race, but from second. It’s been a really good weekend so far and I hope the fans enjoyed the action we delivered on track here at the fantastic American SpeedFest at Brands Hatch. It was the toughest win of the season so far but we are looking forward to racing again on Sunday.”

Jouffreau not only took second overall but also the win in the Junior Trophy classification for drivers aged 25 and under. Third place went to another Frenchman: Lucas Lasserre, the boss of Speedhouse. The veteran took advantage of the restart to get by front row starter Martin Doubek and clinch his second podium finish of the season. The Czech racing for Hendriks Motorsport still scored a solid top-5 results as did reigning NASCAR GP UK winner and EuroNASCAR PRO Champion Gianmarco Ercoli, who crossed the finish line in fifth.

Liam Hezemans took sixth place overall and second in the Junior Trophy, but he also clocked the fastest lap. The Dutchman will start from Pole Position for EuroNASCAR PRO Round 6 on Sunday. Ulysse Delsaux came home in seventh ahead of Thomas Krasonis, who is getting coaching support from four-time EuroNASCAR PRO Champion Alon Day at Brands Hatch. The Israeli is working with Krasonis on the telemetry to improve the Greek’s performance in the races and the hard work paid off already for Krasonis in the Marko Stipp Motorsport Chevrolet. Vladimiros Tziortzis and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen rounded out the top-10.

Max Marzorati won the battle of the British drivers in eleventh, just ahead of Scotsman Jack Davidson. Marzorati and Davidson were engaged in a fantastic battle with 3F Racing’s Ryan Vargas for the majority of the race. Vargas had a taste of eleventh place when he got past the Double V Racing driver on lap 37, but the American was caught out by the challenging Paddock Hill Bend and went off track in the very next lap. He therefore had to settle with a 15th place finish.

Challenger Trophy leader Thomas Toffel was running as high as eighth when he was forced to retire with technical issues on lap 10. The Swiss’ DNF opened the path for Dario Caso to score his first class victory of the season in 16th place. Riccardo Romagnoli and Frederic Perriat rounded out the top-3 spots in the special classification for elite amateurs. Nick Strickler and Tobias Dauenhauer also hit trouble, both losing time after contact with Kenko Miura and Tziortzis respectively. The latter made contact with Tziortzis under Safety Car and received a 10-second penalty.

With today’s win, Ghirelli now leads the points standings with a 15-point advantage on Ercoli. Jouffreau moved from fifth to third with a 21-point gap from Ghirelli. Hezemans and Lasserre complete the top-5.

Saturday’s activities will continue with EuroNASCAR 2 Round 5 at 17:30 CEST / 16:30 local time, while the EuroNASCAR PRO gladiators get to have some rest before they return on Sunday with EuroNASCAR PRO Round 6 at 14:00 CEST / 13:00 local time. All races from the SpeedFest will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel and several TV networks from all around the world.

EuroNASCAR PRO Results | EuroNASCAR 2 Results


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