So close and yet so far: Rollercoaster of emotions for Marko Stipp Motorsport
Marko Stipp Motorsport celebrated the first EuroNASCAR PRO podium in team history on Sunday – But then the race control changed the overall results
With Romain Iannetta, Marko Stipp Motorsport has a true veteran of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) in its ranks, as it did last year. The Frenchman has been competing in the series since NASCAR joined in 2012 and has since scored two wins and 13 podiums. He nearly added his 14th podium on Sunday in Valencia, Spain, but the joy didn’t last long.
Things got a bit chaotic in Victory Lane on Sunday afternoon: due to penalties against Gianmarco Ercoli (track limits) and Alon Day (restart), Nicolo Rocca was declared the winner. The German team around Marko Stipp was also celebrating, because this would have put Iannetta in second place. It would have been the first EuroNASCAR PRO podium for the racing team.
The decision is made at the green table
Hours later, disappointment set in: after the race control had studied the scenes in question once again, the penalties against Ercoli and Day were lifted. The latter was crowned the winner, Ercoli inherited second place. This left Rocca third and Iannetta only fourth. The podium was so close and yet so far, but positive knowledge can be drawn from the season opener at Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Marko Stipp Motorsport and especially Iannetta are able to keep up with the European NASCAR elite. On Saturday, the 42-year-old was already on course for a top-5 finish when a technical defect dropped him back to 14th place. On Sunday, the racer from Villecresnes then finished fourth. This puts Iannetta in seventh place in the overall standings – just 18 points behind championship leader Rocca.
Sokolovskiy and Gomes with solid start to season
Yevgen Sokolovskiy also performed well in the EuroNASCAR PRO championship. The Gentleman driver from the Ukraine even knocked on the top-10 on Saturday, finishing twelfth to secure fourth place in the highly competitive Challenger Trophy. On Sunday, the driver of the #48 Chevrolet Camaro finished 22nd.
In the EuroNASCAR 2 championship, Sokolovskiy was allowed to climb the podium after both rounds. With eleventh place on Saturday, he secured third place in the Legend Trophy for drivers aged 40 and over. On Sunday, 16th place was enough for him to finish second in the special classification.
Next stop: Brands Hatch
Gomes, who shares the #46 Chevrolet Camaro with Iannetta, recorded similarly good results. On Saturday, the Portuguese, who is contesting his second NWES season, stormed to ninth place. It was his second top-10 result after Most in 2021, which was good enough for second place in the Legend Trophy.
On Sunday, he finished half a second behind teammate Sokolovskiy, which is why Gomes completed the top-3 in the special EuroNASCAR 2 standings. After an exciting season opener in Spain, the NWES travels to Brands Hatch in the UK on June 11 and 12, where four races are again on the schedule – two in each championship.