NWES Saturday: Rocca and Tziortzis storm to victory
Nicolo Rocca and Vladimiros Tziortzis secured the first wins of the 2022 NWES season in Saturday’s races at Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo
The 2022 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) opened on May 14 and 15 at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. The schedule included a total of four races: two in EuroNASCAR PRO and two in EuroNASCAR 2. With 37 cars entered, the series set a new record.
The first race of the season was contested by the drivers in the EuroNASCAR 2 category.
Cypriot Vladimiros Tziortzis converted his pole position into a brilliant start-finish victory to climb to the top step of the podium for the first time after three second-place finishes in 2021.
“We did our job, it was our main goal from the beginning of the year to start with a positive result and we will continue like that. We have to do this job at all costs,” says Tziortzis on his first visit to Victory Lane.
Not only the Cypriot offered an impressive performance, YouTube star Alberto Naska in the service of CAAL Racing also knew how to convince. In his NWES debut, he secured second place behind Tziortzis and relegated the experienced Hendriks Motorsport driver and defending champion Martin Doubek to third.
Fourth place went to Gil Linster, who has returned to CAAL Racing for the 2022 season, ahead of Ulysse Delsaux and Liam Hezemans. Linster and Doubek fought a thrilling duel over quite a few laps. Doubek was involved in a spin on the first lap, but fought his way back to the front and finally got ahead of Linster on the twelfth lap.
Another spectacular overtaking maneuver was shown by Delsaux in his battle with Hezemans. The young Frenchman wrestled the brother of the current EuroNASCAR PRO champion – Loris Hezemans – down on lap eight to secure fifth place.
With his second place overall, Naska also snatched victory in the Rookie Trophy ahead of Hezemans. Rounding out the podium was Team Speedhouse’s Paul Jouffreau. Victory in the Legend Trophy went to Melvin De Groot ahead of the two Marko-Stipp Motorsport drivers Miguel Gomez and Yevgen Sokolovskyi.
Due to the entry of some fast ladies into EuroNASCAR, the Lady Trophy podium was also well filled: Winner Aliyya Koloc relegated her competitors Luli Del Castello and Arianna Casoli, who joined the Speedhouse team this season, to second and third.
Rocca wins in EuroNASCAR PRO
Shortly before the start of the season, Nicolo Rocca attracted attention by securing a cockpit with CAAL Racing at virtually the very last second. Rocca is no stranger to the team, as the Italian and the racing team have already celebrated several joint race victories in the past. After returning to his old employer, Rocca also underlined his ambitions to win the title.
Starting from second position, he immediately took the lead ahead of pole-sitter Alexander Graff, which he did not relinquish until the finish, despite two caution periods. For Rocca, this was the fifth win in his 84th EuroNASCAR PRO start and his 32nd top-five result in the top NWES division.
“I’m speechless right now,” says an emotional Rocca in Victory Lane. “I’m here to be in a good car. I know I’ve got it. When you put me in a good car, I know I can fight for the win and today everything went perfectly! I’m so happy to be back with the CAAL guys, I’m speechless. It was incredible!”
Following the departure of Loris Hezemans for the USA, Tobias Dauenhauer at the wheel of the number 50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang now competed in the EuroNASCAR PRO classification. The young German underlined his great talent and showed with a second place that he is also a front runner in “the big ones”.
The Swede Graff, who returned to EuroNASCAR in the 2022 season, finished third. Three-time champion Alon Day showed a brilliant recovery, pushing his number 24 Camaro from 16th on the grid to fourth place. In the process, he relegated Martin Doubek to fifth place.
Lucas Luhr is a familiar name on the grid in EuroNASCAR PRO this year. Luhr brought his Racingfuel Motorsport Camaro home in a strong eighth place in his debut race.
With his second place overall, Dauenhauer also secured victory in the Junior Trophy at the same time ahead of Switzerland’s Giorgio Maggi and Gustas Grinbergas. The Challenger Trophy was won by Doubek, with Massimiliano Lanza in second place. The podium in this category was completed by Cosimo Barberini in the service of Speedhouse.
The next NWES event will take place on June 11 and 12 at the tradition-steeped circuit at Brands Hatch in the UK.