Caal returnee Gil Linster ‘satisfied’ with first half of NWES season despite handicap
Gil Linster is satisfied with the first half of the 2022 NWES season – The Luxembourger made it to tenth place in the overall standings together with CAAL Racing, despite having to deal with health problems
After making his comeback in the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) season, Gil Linster has found his way back to CAAL Racing for the full 2022 season. The Luxembourg native, who already competed in the series for the Italians in 2017 and 2018, sits tenth in the overall EuroNASCAR 2 standings after a solid first half of the season. The racing driver from Frisange is visibly satisfied with this, especially because he started the season with a handicap.
“My season is actually going quite well,” Linster tells ‘Leadlap.net’. “I had an injury and couldn’t prepare at all for over four months. It was a long time in which I could do nothing and therefore only lie in bed. In Valencia I was therefore surprised by the performance and that I was able to do the full races. Valencia was really great for me. Of course, there was still something missing to compete with the front runners, but I’m working on that.”
Under the blazing Spanish sun, Linster finished in the top-5 twice in the first two races with fourth and fifth place finishes, putting him right at the top of the EuroNASCAR 2 standings. But then came the race at Brands Hatch in the UK, which was to set the Luxembourger back a little. “That’s when I got penalty after penalty,” he explains. “I didn’t say anything about it, because it doesn’t matter whether you got it justified or not. It’s part of the game.”
After this “weekend to forget,” Linster pinned all his hopes on the race at Italy’s Autodromo di Vallelunga to close the gap on the leaders. However, the race track near Rome was uncharted territory for the 28-year-old, which is why he needed time to adapt to the circuit. “That was bad luck,” he explains. “I couldn’t do a free practice session because we had problems with the car.”
The technical issues dragged into the first race, in which Linster had to retire due to a defect in the ignition coil. Adding to the problems was the sweltering heat of Italy, which took its toll on Linster, who said he was only at “50 percent” physically due to the injury. “I lost a lot of weight because I couldn’t do any sports and could only lie in bed,” he looks back. “It was very difficult to race at the front in these temperatures.”
However, it worked out, with Linster finishing a respectable eighth in the second race, which reeled him in tenth overall. “I was excited to be racing up front,” he says. “Sometimes my body tells me it’s too early to compete at this level, but it’s coming back. I realize I can slowly build back up.” Both athletically and nutritionally, Linster is currently trying to get back on his usual track.
Beside the racing line, Linster enjoys being part of the NWES, which he said “has been doing splendidly, even after Corona”. “I was thrilled to see how many fans there were in Italy, too, for example,” he says happily. “Brands Hatch was huge again and Valencia was also great.” Linster particularly praises the fact that the “well-organized” events with their numerous attractions attract many families and motorsport fans to the circuit.
“It’s really super how the series has developed,” he clarifies. “In fact, I hope we can have more or longer races in the future to enjoy this great sport a little more.” There are six events on the schedule for the 2022 NWES season, but before the next round in Most, Czech Republic, there’s a bit of a breather this summer.
“I’m often at the kart track to do a few laps with our young talent Pol Leytem,” says Linster, who is looking after Luxembourg’s young racing talent during the summer break. “In the process, I’m also preparing a bit again.” Linster also dreams of being able to attack again in the late model series in the US after the Corona pandemic. In addition, he will give everything in the summer to get back to 100 percent physically.