Alon Day experienced a roller coaster of emotions at the Autodrom Most: While he finished and won a race in the Czech Republic for the first time on Saturday, he retired with technical problems on Sunday
“What a race,” was Alon Day’s initial reaction after the first EuroNASCAR PRO race at Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic. Indeed, more excitement was hardly possible: weather conditions made for an unpredictable NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) race with the Israeli as the lucky winner.
Despite several showers, the track had dried in time for the first round of the EuroNASCAR PRO, but trouble was already looming in the sky. Dark clouds were rolling in over the Autodrom Most. However, since the track was dry, the drivers started on slicks.
Chaos broke out shortly after the start when Jacques Villeneuve spun into the gravel after a contact. On lap three, both Vittorio Ghirelli – after contact with Andrea Nori – and Alon Day were also involved in an incident. The 29-year-old was spun by Romain Iannetta and dropped back to 18th.
The great comeback
The race seemed to be over for both Day and Ghirelli. Iannetta and Nori each received a ten-second penalty for the collisions. Then came the rain and with it what must have been the crucial pit stops, switching from slicks to rain tires. These were the first pit stops in NWES history to have a significant impact on a race.
The mechanics of CAAL Racing showed a strong performance and changed the tires of the #88 car among the fastest. But even with rain tires the conditions were difficult towards the end of the race. Francesco Sini went off track, triggering a safety car period.
This left Day, who was still involved in a second incident, in first place when the race was restarted. This meant that nothing stood in the way of Day’s comeback victory. The CAAL driver defended his lead and not only finished a race at the Autodrom Most for the first time in his career, but also took his first victory on the 4.1-kilometer circuit.
CAAL Racing wins in the pit box
Importantly, the pit stop went like clockwork for the Italian team – unlike for his rival and EuroNASCAR PRO leader Loris Hezemans, who lost many seconds in the pits. With the Most win, Day is one step closer to his goal of winning at all current NWES tracks. He needs only a first-place finish in Vallelunga, Italy, to complete the feat. On Sunday, he suffered a setback when he had to retire due to technical issues on his car.
Being able to overcome that is just amazing. Immediately when the rain started to fall, the CAAL Racing guys did an amazing job. They mounted the rain tires and that’s why the win belongs to them!” The next NWES round will be held September 18-19 at Croatia’s Automotodrom Grobnik, a track where Day scored a victory in 2020.