NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

EuroNASCAR PRO: Hezemans crowned “King of Brands Hatch”

NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

Loris Hezemans won one race at the EuroNASCAR round at Brands Hatch in the UK and was crowned king – The other race was won by Alon Day

On July 3-4, the American SpeedFest of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) was held at the iconic race track at Brands Hatch in the UK. Each day, 4,000 fans were admitted to the grandstands. The EuroNASCAR PRO championship races were won by Alon Day and Loris Hezemans, who was ultimately crowned “King of Brands Hatch” with the most points collected.

Day strikes back

The first race was the EuroNASCAR PRO Round 3, which was characterized by gripping position battles behind the leading duo. Polesitter Day in the CAAL Chevrolet took the lead directly after the start ahead of Hendriks driver Hezemans.

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

Day extended this lead as the race progressed and crossed the finish line in first place. “It’s incredible to have 25 career victories now,” Day said right after the race. “It’s nice to do it with CAAL Racing, the team I’ve won two championships and scored 21 race wins with.

“What can I say? The team did a great job and the car was amazing. Loris was pushing me in the first part of the race but then I realized that the gap was getting bigger. I decided to save the tires for [the next race].”

Hezemans secured pole for Sunday’s race with the fastest race lap. Nicolo Rocca, in the service of DF1 Racing, prevailed over his fellow competitors in the end and snatched the last remaining place on the podium. His compatriot and current EuroNASCAR 2 champion Vittorio Ghirelli finished behind him.

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

Fifth place went to Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, who confirmed his strong results from the season opener in Valencia. Winner in the Junior Trophy was Day’s teammate Gianmarco Ercoli, who finished ahead of Switzerland’s Giorgio Maggi at the wheel of the #18 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang.

Victory in the Challenger Trophy went to Henri Tuomaala, who beat Davide Dallara and Marko Stipp Motorsport driver Yevgen Sokolovskiy in second and third. The Finn is competing for Iceboys-DF1-Racing in the 2021 season.

Hezemans crowned “King of Brands Hatch”

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

While Hezemans had to settle for second place on the previous day, the Dutchman at the wheel of the #7 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang put in a convincing performance on the following day. Even a total of three safety car periods could not stop the 24-year-old from finishing all 38 laps in the lead.

Both at the start and on the restarts after the first two caution periods, Hezemans kept his rival Day at bay. After the second restart, Day attempted an attack on Hezemans but ran into the gravel in turn 1, damaging his car and ultimately forcing him to retire from the race.

“It was a tough race due to the safety cars but we made the best out of it,” said Hezemans, who scored his tenth career NWES win. “We struggled a little bit on pace but we got better and better. I think the strategy from yesterday paid off when I saved my tires behind Alon Day. I’m very happy to have won my first race here at Brands Hatch and I hope we continue like that. Hendriks Motorsport team gave me a great car once again.”

Second place went to Day’s teammate Ercoli, who also secured the Junior Trophy win at the same time. Again, it was Bleekemolen who took full advantage of his momentum to finish on the podium once again, following his top-3 finish in Valencia.

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

Second in the Junior Trophy, the classification for drivers under 25 years of age, was Maggi, who not only collected important points for himself but also for his team Hendriks Motorsport. The podium was completed by Alex Sedgwick at the wheel of the #24 Academy Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro. He was another local hero who celebrated a great comeback to EuroNASCAR with this result.

The DF1 Racing team also had another good result for one of its drivers, with Tuomaala winning the Challenger Trophy ahead of Not Only Motorsport’s Dallara and 42 Racing driver Bernardo Manfre.

The next races of the NWES will be held on August 28-29 at the Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic. Both the races and qualifying will be broadcasted live on the Leadlap.de / Leadlap.net Facebook page.

Frank Reipen