EuroNASCAR in Valencia: Tziortzis and Lasserre win on Sunday

EuroNASCAR in Valencia: Tziortzis and Lasserre win on Sunday
© NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Nina Weinbrenner

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series offered two exciting races in Valencia on Sunday – Especially in the EuroNASCAR PRO there was a lot of drama

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) season could hardly have got off to a more exciting start. After winning on Saturday, Vladimiros Tziortzis also prevailed on Sunday in EuroNASCAR 2. Lucas Lasserre was the winner in EuroNASCAR Pro.

The podium in EuroNASCAR 2 was similar to the previous day. Alongside Tziortzis were again Alberto Naska and Paul Jouffreau. The Italian finished 4.669 seconds behind the Academy / Alex Caffi Motorsport driver.

“I’m excited and we finally got it done! We are fast, we are there, we are consistent and this is the main key for the rest of the season,” says Tziortzis who was originally only scheduled to race in EuroNASCAR PRO but competed in both categories in Valencia.

Gil Linster finished fourth, initially passing Jouffreau at the start but losing the position at the restart after the safety car phase. This was necessary because Paolo Valeri’s car had to be recovered after a crash with Roberto Benedetti. Linster’s teammate Martin Doubek, meanwhile, experienced a difficult start and had to have a tyre changed after an incident on the first lap.

Patrick Schober, with whom the Czech had a long duel the day before, had another good day and finished the race in fifth position ahead of Claudio Cappelli, who also won the Legend Trophy ahead of Dario Caso and Riccardo Romagnoli.

As on the previous day, Thomas Dombrowski, who finished sixth behind Cappelli, climbed the middle podium in the Rookie classification. Marko-Stipp Motorsport drivers Jack Davison and Nick Schneider completed the podium. Ariana Casoli was the best woman in the field.

Tzirotzis leaves Spain as championship leader with a ten-point lead over Naska. Whether he will continue to compete in both classes or whether his focus will now be on EuroNASCAR 2 will soon become clear. “Let’s see from the next round, there’s some news that we will announce soon!” promises the Cypriot.

Hezemans-Ercoli crash makes for dramatic finale in EuroNASCAR PRO

The Academy / Alex Caffi Motorsport driver also had a good chance of winning in the EuroNASCAR PRO race. In the end, however, it was Lucas Lasserre who visited the Victory Lane. It was his first triumph since 2018 and the second win for Speedhouse Racing in the highest class of the NWES. Martin Doubek and Marc Goossens completed the podium.

“It’s been a long time for me, but Speedhouse was really fast last year!” “It’s been a long time, but Speedhouse was already really fast last year,” said the Frenchman. “I needed to concentrate on my team manager and team owner role, but then I just competed in this race and I won! A big thanks to all the people who stayed with me this winter, it’s been good times and high spirits at Speedhouse!”

But that wasn’t all the win came about in special circumstances. My engineer was not here, so I managed to talk to him by phone to set up the car. It’s totally amazing and we’re going to have a big, big, big party this evening!” says Lasserre.

© NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Bart Dehaese

But a bit of racing luck was also involved because Lasserre benefited from a late accident between Hezemans and Gianmarco Ercoli. Before that, the Dutchman had to give up the lead to the CAAL driver because of a mistake at the first restart of the race. Hezemans approached the restart zone in front of Ercoli, which was actually against the regulations. However, the green flag was also shown to the drivers too early.  

After the exchange of positions, the Hendriks pilot wanted to take the lead again. But he risked too much and so it came to a collision in lap 14. In the post-race interview, Ercoli was far from happy about the incident, which meant retirement for Hezemanns and a puncture for the CAAL driver.

“I’m racing in a professional category with kids. The kids are fast, but they don’t have the strategy. The race was okay and that car is faster than mine. I don’t understand the overtake attempt at that moment. They [kids] race all the time on the PC, but not in real life. When you race on the track, you switch on your head because at the race track, you need to show respect,” he says in an interview after the race.

Hezemans, in turn, apologises for the accident: “I think with Ercoli, it was a bit of my mistake when I was on the outside because I wanted to get back on track. I didn’t have the room, otherwise I would have been pushed into the gravel. Maybe I went back too early and I’m sorry for that.” In addition to the early retirement, Hezemans also received a ten-second penalty and three behavior warning points.

Lasserre then took the lead from Tziortzis at the subsequent restart. But the drama did not stop there. Only a short time later, the Cypriot was pushed out by Vittorio Ghirelli in the fight for second place and finished the race in 13th.The Italian was also penalized after the race and classified in 16th place.

Anthony Kumpen finished fourth ahead of Frederic Gabillion. In the Junior Trophy, Ulysee Delsaux was the best. The Frenchman finished sixth behind the two EuroNASCAR veterans. Giorgio Maggi and Thomas Krasonis completed the Junior Trophy podium in seventh and eighth.

Riccardo Romagnoli finished eighth in the Challenger Trophy, beating Advait Deodahr and Kenko Miura. Lasserre also took the lead in the championship after his victory. Apart from Valencia, however, the Frenchman has no further starts planned this year.

Next up for EuroNASCAR is Great Britain. On 17 and 18 June, the tenth edition of the American Speedfest will take place there at the Circuit Brands Hatch. Qualifying and the races will be broadcast live on the EuroNASCAR YouTube channel, on and on various TV channels.

Simon Mones