It was a perfect Saturday morning for Racing Engineering in the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season opener at the famous Circuit Ricardo Tormo of Valencia, Spain. While three-time champion Ander Vilarino (#48 Racing Engineering Ford Mustang) will be leading the field in the ELITE 1 Round 1 on Saturday, Myatt Snider (#48 Racing Engineering Ford Mustang) grabbed the pole position for the ELITE 2 race.
Vilarino, who clock in a lap in 1:40.629 in Superpole, edged Lucas Lasserre (#33 Mishumotors Chevrolet Camaro) by 0.334 seconds. Defending champion Alon Day (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) ended up third, just 0.020 behind Lasserre. Stienes Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) and his team mate Nicolo Rocca (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) rounded out the top-5 and the Italian was the fastest driver in the Junior Trophy.
“I’m really excited because I didn’t expect to grab the pole position. It was quite a complicated session due to many disallowed lap times due to track limits infringements,” said the Spaniard. “I had to do three additional laps to get into Superpole. It’s great to be on the front row in my Euro NASCAR comeback. It was a great morning for Racing Engineering here at Valencia with me and Myatt winning the pole in both Division. I’m very proud of the team, they did a tremendous job today.”
20-year-old Alex Sedgwick (#90 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro) ended up sixth ahead of last year’s championship runner up Frederic Gabillon (#3 RDV Competition Chevrolet SS). Thomas Ferrando (#27 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang) was eighth just ahead of Gianmarco Ercoli (#9 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang) and Francesco Sini (#12 Solaris Motorsport Ford Mustang), who closed the top-10.
Jacques Villeneuve (#32 Go Fas Racing Chevrolet Camaro) will start from 16th in his first ever in the European NASCAR series. The former Formula One World Champion and Indy 500 winner beat Romain Iannetta (#88 Racing Engineering Ford Mustang) and NASCAR Peak Mexico Series Champion Ruben Garcia Jr. (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang), who finished 18th. 2000 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Bobby Labonte (#70 Mishumotors Chevrolet SS) will start from the 23rd place on the grid.
Snider impresses in Euro NASCAR debut
After being fastest in practice on Friday, Myatt Snider confirmed his surprising performance in qualifying in his first road course race in Europe. The American lapped the 4-km track in 1:41.222 edging rookie Giorgio Maggi (#50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang), who was 0.202 seconds slower than the pole sitter.
“Nothing is better than Ford Performance power. I’m glad to be working with the Racing Engineering guys, they are just phenomenal,” said the 2018 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Rookie of the Year. “It was the right decision to join them in the preseason. I’m very proud of these guys. The #48 is just awesome. I can’t thank Racing Engineering and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series enough for this opportunity. This is a strong start in this season for sure!”
Rookie Andre Castro (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) ended up third ahead of NWES veteran Martin Doubek (#7 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang) and Justin Kunz (#99 Dexwet-Df1 Racing Chevrolet Camaro), who closed the top-5.
Massimiliano Lanza (#41 The Club Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro) was sixth, edging Pierluigi Veronesi (#27 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang), rookie Scott Jeffs (#90 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro), Eric De Doncker (#98 Motorsport 98 Ford Mustang), and Bert Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro), who rounded out the top-10.
De Doncker was the fastest driver in the Legend Trophy ahead of Michael Bleekemolen (#69 Team Bleekemolen Ford Mustang) and Mirco Schultis (#70 Mishumotors Chevrolet SS). Arianna Casoli (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) was the only lady on the grid after Jennifer Jo Cobb (#10 Racing-Total Chevrolet Camaro) couldn’t take part in qualifying due to her teammate’s crash in the ELITE 1 practice.
The 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season opening races will take place on Saturday at the famous Circuit Ricardo Tormo. While the ELITE 1 race will be held at 1:15pm CEST the ELITE 2 Division will hit the track at 4:45pm CEST. All races will be streamed live at Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR Youtube channel and Facebook page, Motorsport.tv and a vast of different websites and social media sites around the world.