Fourth career victory for Gordon Barnes in the Club Challenge
Gordon Barnes secured victory in the Club Challenge at Autodromo di Vallelunga on Friday – He was only six points ahead of the field
Two of four events have been completed in the battle for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) Club Challenge crown. After a second-place finish in Valencia, reigning champion Gordon Barnes of Marko Stipp Motorsport secured victory in Friday’s regularity test at the Autodromo di Vallelunga in Italy.
“It was absolutely brilliant,” says the Briton after the fourth Club Challenge win of his career, adding, “We had a good run in Spain, but to be back on the top step of the podium here today is just brilliant. It’s the best feeling!”
It was a very close victory. At the end of the three sessions, the lead over second-placed Neo Lambert in Speedhouse colors was just six points. Federico Monti of Academy / Alex Caffi Motorsport finished third – the Italian was the runner-up behind Barnes in 2021.
At the Club Challenge opener in Valencia, it was the young Frenchman Lambert who had prevailed in the duel with Barnes. Before the third round at the Autodrom Most on September 2, both drivers have one victory and one second place on their books. Monti took third place in each case.
In the overall standings, Barnes has a narrow lead after the second round with 156 points. However, Lambert (150 points) and Monti (146 points) are close on the Brit’s heels. Barnes’ teammate Andreas Kuchelbacher (133 points) follows behind.