Alon Day wins Ercoli drama at Vallelunga
Alon Day and Alberto Naska secured victories at the Autodromo di Vallelunga on Saturday – Gianmarco Ercoli, meanwhile, experienced his personal Waterloo
Things could hardly have gone better for CAAL Racing: At the home race at the Autodromo di Vallelunga on Saturday both Gianmarco Ercoli and Alberto Naska made it to pole position. The latter defended the lead – to the delight of his numerous fans who had made the pilgrimage to the track – all the way to the finish. In the EuroNASCAR PRO, however, victory went to Alon Day because Ercoli’s race got in the way.
Things started well for the Italian in the EuroNASCAR PRO championship. At the start, he defended the top position against the PK Carsport driver and then pulled away somewhat. Even after the early safety car period, it was initially the pink and black CAAL Chevrolet that led the race.
But then Day turned up the heat and passed his former teammate. The drama was yet to come. A few laps later, Ercoli suddenly dropped back and ultimately found himself in the gravel. The reason for this was a tire puncture, which also claimed a large part of the fender.
Day, meanwhile, defended his lead to the finish and secured his 30th career victory. It was the Israeli’s eighth success in Italy. “First of all I want to say that it doesn’t matter what happened in Brands Hatch between me and Ercoli, I don’t think he deserves to finish the race like that. I don’t know what happened, I think he got a puncture. He gave me a good fight and I feel sorry for them, I don’t want to win like that. PK Carsport did an amazing job with the car and I’m just happy, I managed to overtake Ercoli at the restart and from there on I just tried to keep a good pace and it’s time to think about tomorrow now,” Day showed fairness after the race.
Things went better, meanwhile, for Ercoli’s teammate Naska, who also started the race from pole. The CAAL driver defended his lead in the EuroNASCAR 2 race right to the end against Vladimiros Tziortzis and Liam Hezemans. Naska didn’t let a late safety car period rattle him in his home race.
“You’ll never get used to the Victory Lane, never! It’s always like the first time and here, in front of all my fans in Italy, that’s the best feeling in the world! Especially in a race like this one where Tziortzis never gave up, I had to push from the first to the last lap and my feets were burning. Outside of the weather today, I can’t imagine tomorrow,” said Naska to his fans in Victory Lane.
The local hero’s victory also created an exuberant mood among his fans. Still in Victory Lane, Naska celebrated his victory extensively with the well-filled grandstand. At the award ceremony, the Tifosi played the Italian national anthem at a volume that could probably still be heard in the capital, Rome.