The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series put up another thrilling show in Italy and it was Lasse Sorensen who came out the winner on his #66 Chevrolet Camaro by Dexwet-df1 Racing in what was his very first NWES race. The Dane took advantage of Florian Venturi and Andre Castro’s problems to grab his first ever NWES win with an outstanding performance.
"That’s amazing, first of all thanks to the whole team. They gave me a car which was just amazing," said 22-year-old Sorensen, who brought Dexwet-df1 Racing to Victory Lane for the first time in ELITE 2. "As they say, to finish first, first you have to finish. I had a bit luck with Florian retiring early, but I overtook Andre right before his car had problems."
Sorensen, who started second, fell back to third when the green flag waved. Poleman Venturi was able to build a gap on the chasing group, but on lap 5 drama struck for the first time: Venturi slowed down on the back straight and was forced to retire.
"I had a very good start," said a disappointed Venturi, who will lead the field again in Sunday’s race. "The car suddenly stopped working and I didn’t understand why."
Castro took over the lead, but was always kept under pressure by Sorensen. Valencia winner Giorgio Maggi, who was third, closed the gap to the duo out front. Castro defended first place on a restart with six laps to go, but drama struck again within the penultimate lap, when the PK Carsport driver had issues to his Camaro and saw the first NWES win vanish once again. Sorensen took over the lead, while the American was forced to retire and the Dane went on to grab his maiden NASCAR win.
"We actually haven’t figured out what exactly happened," said Castro. "When I took the lead from Florian I was able to manage the gap. I’m really sad right now, that’s all I can say. I will start second tomorrow, so I will go for it again."
Myatt Snider ended up second with a strong run at the Autodromo di Franciacorta and Maggi grabbed the last spot on the ELITE 2 Division podium making an all-rookie top-3 in the first race of the NASCAR GP Italy and consolidating his points lead.
"In the beginning I didn’t have the handling in the car, but in the end it really came to me," said Snider. "The Ford Performance Mustang was great thanks to the good work of the Racing Engineering team. It was a lot of fun to bring my American flavor in here. I’m pretty happy with today."
Maggi said: "It was a really busy race for me as my start was not that good. I was battling a lot during the whole race. I had to keep a quick pace to get the fastest lap for tomorrow. I had to get my position back after losing one due to a bad restart."
Sorensen’s teammate Justin Kunz was fourth ahead of Advait Deodhar, who scored another top-5 in his rookie season. Ian Eric Waden, who finished eleventh, won the Legend Trophy ahead of Braxx Racing driver Jerry de Weerdt. Arianna Casoli won the Lady Trophy.
The ELITE 2 Round 4 will take place on Sunday at 10:45 am CEST at the Autodromo di Franciacorta in Italy. The race will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR Youtube channel and Facebook page, on Motorsport.tv and on a vast network of websites and social media profiles.