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Two first timers on Pole at Brands Hatch

PK Carsport had an impressive start in the NASCAR GP UK weekend at Brands Hatch. The Belgian team swept qualifying by grabbing Pole Position in both Euro NASCAR divisions. Stienes Longin won his maiden pole in the ELITE 1 Division, while Andre Castro set the fastest lap time in the ELITE 2 Division in the very last seconds of a spectacular Superpole session.

Stienes Longin clocked a 49.440 lap around the 1.9-kilometer Indy Circuit beating Hendriks Motorsport’s Loris Hezemans by just 0.012 seconds. It was the first ever ELITE 1 Division Pole Position for the former ELITE 2 champion driving the #11 Camaro. Defending NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion Alon Day ended up third in his CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS.

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Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

“I did not expect the Pole Position here, because it’s not my best track for sure,” said 27-year old Longin. “My guys worked hard during the night to find the right setup and in the end it paid off. It’s a good starting point to grab my first win, but for that we have to race first. It’s always nice to race in front of such a big crowd and we will give our best in today’s race.”

Longin’s teammate Nicolo Rocca confirmed his strong start of this 2019 NWES season by setting the fourth fastest lap. The Italian came 0.112 seconds short of the best time. Francesco Sini rounded out the top-5 for Solaris Motorsport with his best qualifying effort since joining the series. Last year’s Brands Hatch race winner Gianmarco Ercoli was sixth ahead of Marc Goossens and Lucas Lasserre.

Marko Stipp Motorsport will surely celebrate the ninth place by Ant Whorton-Eales, who put up a promising performance on his home ground. He edged former Brands Hatch race winner Romain Iannetta, who closed the top-10 in his Racing Engineering Ford Mustang. Frederic Gabillon was eleventh ahead of ELITE 1 debutant Lasse Sorensen.

Surprisingly out of Superpole were Jacques Villeneuve (13th), Alexander Graff (16th), Ulysse Delsaux (18th) and three-time champion Ander Vilarino (19th).

RESULTS: QUALIFYING | SUPERPOLE 

Andre Castro grabs maiden NASCAR Pole Position

The ELITE 2 Division was highlighted by the third different pole sitter in three events. Andre Castro, driving the #24 Camaro for PK Carsport, conquered his maiden NASCAR pole. The American rookie clocked a 49.281 seconds lap, which granted him the pole in his very first outing at the famous Brands Hatch Circuit. He won an incredibly tight battle with Florian Venturi in the very last seconds of the session, after exchanging the leadership with the Frenchman several times.

“I don’t know what to say, I’m so excited right now,” said 20-year old Castro. “You always dream about more. It’s all about winning the race. Here it came down to that one lap and we did it. It’s only six corners, I managed to have a decent lap. My team is really doing the best they can. They gave me an awesome car today and I’m looking forward to the race. I was pushing the whole time and trying to get the perfect gap from the guy in front of me. That worked out well.”

Franciacorta ELITE 2 Round 4 winner Venturi will start second in the ELITE 2 Round 5 on Saturday. The Go Fas Racing driver ended up ahead of championship leader Giorgio Maggi, who was quick in the first part of Superpole but couldn’t match his two rivals in the closing minutes. Freddy Nordstrom will start fourth in his NWES comeback at Brands Hatch, while Valencia race winner Nicholas Risitano rounded out the top-5.

Vittorio Ghirelli, who is also in contention for the 2019 ELITE 2 championship, was sixth ahead of local hero Scott Jeffs, Indian rookie Advait Deodhar, Myatt Snider and Justin Kunz, who closed the top-10. Q1 had to be red flagged once due to a technical issue for the #12 car of Naveh Talor, who ended up 22nd on the grid.

Pulling double duties at Brands Hatch, NASCAR GP Italy race winner Lasse Sorensen was not able to set a lap time in qualifying due to an issue to his #66 Camaro. The Dexwet-df1 Racing driver will have a huge mountain to climb in the afternoon, when he will start from the very back of the grid in the ELITE 2 Round 5.

All races from the seventh edition of the American SpeedFest will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR YouTube and Facebook page, Motorsport.tv and a vast network of websites and social media pages from around the world. Green Flag for ELITE 1 Round 5 will wave at 2:13 pm CEST.

RESULTS: QUALIFYING | SUPERPOLE 

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Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard