Fast Portuguese in German NASCAR team: “Battle for Legend Trophy is intense”
Miguel Gomes is third in the highly competitive Legend Trophy of the EuroNASCAR 2 championship – At the halfway point of the season, the Portuguese is satisfied
Miguel Gomes has made a solid start to the 2022 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) with Marko Stipp Motorsport from Germany. The Portuguese driver scored a total of two top-10 results in EuroNASCAR 2 at the first three of six events and finished on the podium five times in the Legend Trophy for drivers 40 yand more. It’s halfway through the season and Gomes is happy with his performance, even if he still wants to improve significantly.
He tells ‘Leadlap.net’: “The start of the season was good because I felt very confident in the car and it also helped that I already knew the tracks from last season. I finished in the top-10 at the season opener in Valencia and also scored a top-10 finish at Brands Hatch. Add to that four podiums in the Legend Trophy in the first four races and another one in the second race of Vallelunga.”
Before the NASCAR GP of Italy at the Autodromo di Vallelunga, the Portuguese was thus seventh in the overall standings and second in the Legend Trophy. In Italy, however, there was a little setback: “In Vallelunga I had my first DNF because I couldn’t complete a single lap due to technical problems.” It was the first time since joining NWES in 2021 that his #46 Chevrolet Camaro had issues that forced him to stop a race.
He praises his team, Marko Stipp Motorsport, for preparing reliable cars for their drivers at all times and says a technical failure like the one in Italy “is just part of racing,” even if he lost “important points”. “Things like that happen,” Gomes makes clear. “In the second race I had to start from the very back. I made up twelve positions, finished 15th and was on the Legend Trophy podium again.”
The battle in the special classification for gentleman drivers in the EuroNASCAR 2 championship is really fun for Gomes, as there are very close battles. The dominator is currently Dutchman Melvin de Groot, who leads the standings ahead of Gomes’ teammate Yevgen Sokolovskiy. Gomes has had “intense” intra-team duels with the latter in the first four races.
“The competition is at a high level because we have many great drivers in the special classification who have a lot of experience,” Gomes explains. “I will continue to fight for first place as long as it is still mathematically possible to get to the top.” That’s also why Gomes expects exciting racing in the Legend Trophy in the second half of the season.
His personal goal for the rounds in Most, Zolder and Grobnik is to beat his personal best result. So far, two ninth-place finishes at Most (2021) and Brands Hatch (2022) have been the Marko-Stipp Motorsport driver’s personal personal racord. “I will do my best to improve race after race. Marko Stipp Motorsport has helped me a lot to develop in the series and I’m sure I have more potential.”
Gomes is also excited to share the car with a true NWES veteran. Romain Iannetta drives the Chevrolet Camaro in EuroNASCAR PRO and has competed in many NWES races throughout his career. The Frenchman joined the series in 2012 and helps the team with his experience to set up the cars in the best possible way for the tracks. Gomes also benefits from the veteran’s know-how.
But before the 2022 NWES season continues after the summer break on September 3 and 4 at the Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic, Gomes will take a little rest and pursue his passion: sim racing. “I will be competing online in the iRacing series, as it keeps me competitive and sharp. I’ll also be relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Portugal.” Gomes streams his virtual races on his ‘Twitch profile’.