The 2022 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season officially started with free practice sessions at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia today. It was Alon Day in EuroNASCAR PRO and Vladimiros Tziortzis in EuroNASCAR 2 clocking the fastest laps in the combined results of the day. With a record field of 37 cars, expectations are high for a thrilling and exciting season opener under the warm sun of Spain.
The 4.005 km Circuit Ricardo Tormo hosts the season opener for the 8th time and has become a staple of the EuroNASCAR schedule since 2012 – the year the championship became the official European NASCAR series. After Free Practice, it’s not possible to make any prediction about who will come out on top from the first event of Whelen Engineering and EuroNASCAR’s 10th season of racing together.
With a phenomenal lap of 1:42.368, Day topped the combined standings ahead of EuroNASCAR PRO newcomer Tobias Dauenhauer, who was only 0.003 seconds slower than the three-time Champion in the PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro. While the top-10 were only separated by 1 second, 2021 runner-up Gianmarco Ercoli was classified third after 2 free practice sessions. He was followed by Nicolo Rocca and Patrick Lemarie, who closed the top-5 of a promising first day of action in Valencia.
With 7 Junior Trophy drivers on track, the battle for the decisive tenth of a second already heated up in Free Practice. The fastest driver aged 25 or under was Dauenhauer. Leonardo Colavita and Giorgio Maggi rounded out the top-3. With 17 Challenger Trophy contenders, the classification for semi-professional drivers in EuroNASCAR sees a record field in the history of EuroNASCAR. EuroNASCAR 2 Champion Martin Doubek was the fastest driver in 7th followed by Claudio Cappelli and Max Lanza.
The EuroNASCAR 2 Championship tends to be the most unpredictable one in the world of EuroNASCAR. Tziortzis clocked a 1:42.554-lap to top the standings ahead of NASCAR Rookie Alberto Naska by a mere 0.509 seconds. The duo was followed by Doubek, Liam Hezemans and Gil Linster, who completed the top-5. As in EuroNASCAR PRO, lap times were extremely close with the top -10 separated by about 2 seconds.
With 14 newcomers in EuroNASCAR 2, the Rookie Trophy will be a highlight of the 2022 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series standings. The free practice sessions gave a first impression of the picking order with Naska being the fastest rookie beating Hezemans and Colavita. The Legend Trophy for drivers aged 40 and more was topped by Melvin de Groot followed by Yevgen Sokolovskiy and Roberto Benedetti. Luli Del Castello was the fastest Lady Trophy contender in the field with Aliyyah Koloc and Arianna Casoli closing the top-3.
The 2022 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is underway at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. Qualifying and all races on Saturday and Sunday will be broadcasted live on the EuroNASCAR social media profiles – YouTube, Facebook and Twitch – as well as on Motorsport.tv and more TV channels all over the world.