Swiss Giorgio Maggi the dark horse in the EuroNASCAR PRO title battle?
Giorgio Maggi is fifth in the overall standings ahead of the EuroNASCAR finale in Grobnik, Croatia, on October 29 and 30 – The Swiss still has a chance of winning the title
Swiss Giorgio Maggi in the service of Race Art Technology still has a realistic chance of winning the EuroNASCAR PRO title after a solid weekend at Zolder. The two races at the traditional Belgian circuit marked the end of the regular season, after which the two worst results were dropped before double points will be up for grabs at the final rounds at the Automotodrom Grobnik on November 29 and 30.
Maggi is currently fifth overall in the championship, but only 26 points behind leader Alon Day. He therefore has more than a theoretical chance of still having a weighty say in the title fight with Day, Gianmarco Ercoli, Alexander Graff and Nicolo Rocca.
In addition, the racer from Hergiswil is clearly leading the Junior Trophy – the special classification for drivers up to and including the age of 25. In his debut year in 2019, Maggi already took second place overall in the EuroNASCAR 2 classification before moving up to the PRO division in 2020.
The weekend in Zolder started promisingly for the young Swiss: after a strong qualifying session, he secured a place in the so-called Superpole. “Qualifying was very difficult because it was still wet due to the rain,” he says afterwards. “It was very close in the fight to get into Superpole because of the traffic, so it almost didn’t work out. Then I also broke the gear stick in Superpole, but it was still enough for fourth place.”
In Saturday’s race, polesitter Vittorio Ghirelli and Gianmarco Ercoli, also a hot contender for the title, quickly pulled away from the rest of the field and settled the victory between them. While Ercoli won ahead of his compatriot, Maggi took home many important points for third place.
“I had a nice fight there with Patrick Lemarie, but he made a mistake and so I was able to take third position without any problems,” explaines the Swiss after the race. “I would have had the pace for more, but Vittorio and Gianmarco were already too far away, so I played it safe and spared the material.”
In Sunday’s EuroNASCAR PRO race, on the other hand, into which he started fifth, things didn’t go so well for Maggi. “I actually got away pretty well there,” the Race Art Technology driver reports. “I was on Vittorio for a few laps and we were fighting. Then my brakes overheated and I couldn’t keep up. Then at the safety car restart I went a bit to the right. I can’t say what happened then, but I was suddenly in the gravel. I was still able to continue, but it was a great pity because the car felt very good.”
As a result, Maggi was only 20th, but due to the two strike results, he was doing damage limitation. Theoretically, he could clinch the championship title without a single win only via the points, but that’s not enough for Maggi: “I’d sign right away to take the title even without a win, but I definitely want to go to Victory Lane,” says the combative Swiss, who has the goal of claiming his first victory in EuroNASCAR PRO.