The weather gods had special plans for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series at Autodrom Most on Sunday as the EuroNASCAR 2 race took place under heavy rain in the morning. At the end of 14 thrilling laps full of sliding V8 cars, Alberto Naska emerged as the race winner after making the decisive pass on polesitter Martin Doubek on lap 5. The driver of the #54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet Camaro drastically cut the gap in the championship standings as the overall leader Vladimiros Tziortzis suffered from a setback. The Cypriot had to park his #5 Academy / Alex Caffi Motorsport car off track on lap 4 from fifth position due to technical issues.
Naska relied on the know-how of CAAL Racing. The Italian powerhouse led by Luca and Corrado Canneori has plenty of experience setting up cars for the rain and the mechanics guaranteed their EuroNASCAR 2 driver an extraordinarily fast car in wet conditions. Naska, who started from 2nd, had a strong start and then successfully attacked for the lead of the race. In the closing stages, the Italian lost grip, but still he managed to be the first driver under the checkered flag at Autodrom Most.
“CAAL Racing always told me that the car is great in wet conditions, but I never had the chance to try it. Today was the first time and I got to say ‘Yeah, they’re really good at making cars!’” said the ecstatic 33-year old Italian in Victory Lane. “Since the beginning I saw that I had a much better pace, so I began to look at where I could pass Doubek. As soon as I passed him, I started to push. In the end I was struggling a bit because I suddenly lost grip. The pace went down by two to three seconds a lap, but I won so that’s the most important thing!”
Paul Jouffreau had already proven his qualities on a damp track at Brands Hatch, but in the Czech Republic the Frenchman in the service of RDV Competition experienced a rollercoaster of emotions and put up a great show for the fans. He was battling with Doubek for second when he overshot a braking point in the spray. He fell back to fourth but got past Gil Linster, who finished just outside the podium for the sixth time this season, and Doubek after a strong comeback. He completed the decisive maneuver on Doubek in the very last lap of the race.
Doubek followed in third at his hometrack bringing home his second podium of the 2023 NWES season. He was followed by Linster, while Claudio Cappelli stormed from 15th to a strong fifth place that was also good enough to grab the win in the Legend Trophy for drivers aged 40 and over. The Race Art Technology driver edged out Jack Davidson, who found good grips at Autodrom Most. The British driver scored his third Rookie Trophy race win of the season, bringing his German team Marko Stipp Motorsport to the top spot of the special classification’s podium.
Cappelli’s teammate Thomas Toffel continued a solid race weekend with a seventh place and the second spot on the Rookie Trophy podium. The duo of Roberto Benedetti and Melvin de Groot ended up eighth and ninth and also completed the Legend Trophy podium. Riccardo Romagnoli closed the top-10 ahead of Michael Bleekemolen and Rookie Valerio Marzi. Alina Loibnegger topped the Lady Trophy ahead of Arianna Casoli and Stefani Mogorovic.
In the provisional standings, Tziortzis defended his lead with 283 points on his tally. Jouffreau is second just three points behind the Cypriot, while Naska closed the gap on Tziortzis with his second race win of the season. The CAAL Racing drivers is only six points down on his fierce rival on top of the standings, who will for sure be looking to strike back when the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series visit Motorsport Arena Oschersleben for the first time to close the 2023 regular season, after which the two worst results of each driver will be dropped.
While the EuroNASCAR 2 drivers will be back in action at the NASCAR GP Germany on September 23-24, the EuroNASCAR PRO field will close the fourth edition of the NASCAR GP Czech Republic on Sunday, August 27, at 13:55 CEST. All races will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and several TV services from all around the world.