NASCAR GP BELGIUM
Soerensen one point behind Maggi after an exciting Zolder win
The ELITE 2 Division title will come down to the final race of the season
(October 5, 2019) –The battle for the 2019 ELITE 2 Division title will go down in the history books of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Before the final race of the season, Giorgio Maggi and Lasse Soerensen are separated by one point – the equivalent of half position on track in the playoffs – in favor of the Swiss. Thanks to Soerensen’s spectacular win in ELITE 2 Final 1, whoever of two will finish ahead of the other on Sunday will become the champion.
With five laps to go in a thrilling Saturday race at Circuit Zolder, Soerensen took over the lead from Maggi completing a bold move on the outside in restart. Afterwards the Dane defended his position in a close six-car dash to the finish.
“It was a hell of a race, it’s always hard when you have to pass so many guys,” said Soerensen, who will start from pole position in Sunday’s race thanks to the fastest lap on Saturday. “I believed in myself and I knew we could do it in the team! Thanks to the guys at Dexwet-Df1 Racing, the car was fantastic and they made it a lot easier today. To stand here now in the championship battle with only one race left is amazing. I really believe I can win that title!”
Maggi started from pole position and kept the lead in the early laps, while Soerensen fought his way back from sixth to fourth before the first caution of the race. The Dexwet-Df1 Racing driver moved up to second with a great restart and after another caution – the second and final one of the race – Maggi had to surrender the lead on turn two.
“It will be very close and interesting because the forecasted conditions will mix up everything,” said Maggi. “We were looking quite bad on Friday because we had some major issues but I think we are very strong in the rain, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow. At the start today, I was too far at the left and I also spun the tires. I was a little too kind and left Lasse too much space.”
Maggi’s teammate Martin Doubek ended up third taking advantage of a last-lap mistake by Advait Deodhar, who lost his chances to earn his second podium of the season at turn 12. The Indian managed to finish fifth behind Vittorio Ghirelli’s #24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro. The Italian rounded out the rookie trophy podium behind Soerensen and Maggi, while Soerensen’s teammate Justin Kunz closed the race in sixth ahead of Alessandro Brigatti.
Freddie Hemborg followed in eighth, edging Pierluigi Veronesi. Celebrating his 70th birthday this weekend, Michael Bleekemolen completed the top-10 and topped the Legend Trophy classification.
Due to Ian Eric Waden’s early retirement in the race, the Dutchman took over the lead in the classification dedicated to drivers aged 40 or more. Arianna Casoli, who also won the Lady Trophy, and Matthias Hauer rounded out the Legend Trophy podium behind Bleekemolen. For Hauer it was the first NWES podium of his career.
The safety-car was deployed for the first time on lap 3, when Hugo De Sadeleer ended up in the gravel trap at turn four. With 10 laps to go, the green flag was back in the air and Naveh Talor was forced to go to the pits due to a flat tire. One lap later the yellow flag flew again due to an incident involving Jesse Vartiainen, Waden and Pol van Pollaert.
The title battle is on and a single position could decide who will be crowned ELITE 2 Division champion between Maggi and Soerensen! The ELITE 2 Final 2 will be streamed live on Sunday at 11:00 am CET on Fanschoice.tv, the NWES YouTube and Facebook channels, Motorsport.tv and vast network of websites and social media pages from around the world.
Photo credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard
NWES 2019 SEASON
NASCAR GP BELGIUM 2019 – SATURDAY PENALTY REPORT
Post Race Penalties and Updated Race Reports
ELITE 1 FINAL 1 – PENALTY REPORT
Following post-race investigations, race control issued the below penalties, resulting in a new Challenger Trophy podium: Henry Tuomaala won ahead of Mauro Trione and Dario Caso. Jacques Villeneuve lost 10 championship points.
- #8 Dario CASO – Causing an avoidable collision # 23 at turn 5 and win a position – Drive Through (this penalty has been increased because the driver was under probation)
- #32 Jacques VILLENEUVE – Causing an avoidable collision # 7 at turn 1 – 10 Championship points
ELITE 2 FINAL 1 – PENALTY REPORT
Following post-race investigations, race control issued the below penalties, resulting in a new top-13: Soerensen, Maggi, Doubek, Ghirelli, Kunz, Brigatti, Hemborg, Veronesi, Albert, Bleekemolen, Casoli, Hauer, Deodhar.
- #70 Michael BLEEKEMOLEN – Avoidable collision car # 48 at turn 11 – Drive Through (equivalent add 30 seconds to the elapsed time of the Race)
- #12 Naveh TALOR – Overtaking car #78 under double yellow flag conditions at turn 4 – Drive Through (equivalent add 30 seconds to the elapsed time of the Race) + Under provation
- #31 Advait DEODHAR – Unsafe blending back after gravel trap at turn 15 – Drive Through (equivalent add 30 seconds to the elapsed time of the Race)
- #31 Advait DEODHAR – Causing an avoidable collision # 99 at main straight – Drive Through (equivalent add 30 seconds to the elapsed time of the Race)
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series was founded in 2008 and established the NASCAR official European Series in January 2012 thanks to a long-term partnership signed with NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), Team FJ, a Motorsports company located in Blois, France, and Whelen Engineering as title sponsor of the Series.The season is made up of 24 races, equally split among ELITE 1 and ELITE 2 divisions, on the best European tracks. Euro NASCAR introduced a stunning innovation on July 7-8, 2012 by organizing the first ever NASCAR race on an oval track in Europe on a half-mile speedway built in the downtown of Tours (France). With four races in two days, these 400 HP V8 monsters provide pure racing action and thrilling bumper-to-bumper battles as well as a lot of family fun around the track! In the pure NASCAR tradition, race fans can get closer to the action than ever and feel the unique in Europe paddock atmosphere thanks to drivers, teams and cars always available for the spectators.The series attracts drivers from all over the world, all willing to fight on track for the win and take the first step towards becoming a NASCAR star in the U.S.