Yevgen Sokolovskiy broke out in a huge sweat at his EuroNASCAR debut at the Autodromo di Vallelunga about two weeks ago – But the Ukrainian is still satisfied
“It must have been over 70 degrees Celsius because I burned myself on my sports watch with a metal case,” said Yevgen Sokolovskiy to ‘Leadlap.net’ after his debut in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) two weeks ago at the Autodromo di Vallelunga in Italy. The Ukrainian competed in the EuroNASCAR PRO division for Marko Stipp Motorsport and was on the podium of the Challenger Trophy twice.
“It was like a sauna in the car,” explained the driver, who completed his first NWES meters under the scorching Italian sun. In his first qualifying session, the Ukrainian drove the #46 Chevrolet Camaro to 20th place, and in the race he impressed with his unagitated driving style, which sent him up to 13th place. Sokolovskiy thus became third in the Challenger Trophy behind Davide Dallara and Dario Caso, but ended up ahead of Mauro Trione.
In the second race, the Marko-Stipp-Motorsport newcomer again showed a solid performance. His best lap in the first race had again brought him 20th place on the grid. Once again the former motorcycle racer managed to make up ground, finishing 16th in the EuroNASCAR elite field. Behind Bernardo Manfre, he finished in second place among the bronze and silver drivers in the EuroNASCAR PRO championship.
“I was satisfied with the first days of racing so far,” revealed Sokolovskiy. “It was nice to be on the podium in the Challenger Trophy, I didn’t expect that. There is strong competition in this special classification. Now I’m trying to do even more with the car step by step. Now it’s all about adapting my driving style further to become even faster”.
On his first race weekend, Sokolovskiy didn’t want to overshoot the mark right away, so he slowly approached the new challenge. The goal was to bring the car back to the pits without a single scratch and not to be involved in an accident. “The team did a great job, especially because the boys and girls were busy working on both cars on every single day,” the Ukrainian added.
The fight against the big names
In his first NWES season, Sokolovskiy takes on the big names in European NASCAR racing right away. His competitors are Jacques Villeneuve, Alon Day and Loris Hezemans. Driving against such famous drivers is especially fun for him. But he also praises the organization of the NWES, which does “a great job”. However, Sokolovskiy missed the spectators, who were not allowed on the track at the season opener in Italy.
Next weekend, the Challenger Trophy title candidate will head to the Circuit Zolder, where 200 spectators per day are allowed to visit the track in Belgium. After his first two races in the EuroNASCAR PRO championship, Sokolovskiy is 13th overall and first in the Challenger Trophy. In the forests of Limburg, the team will have only one goal: to extend its lead in the special classification.