Lasse Soerensen was the dominant driver in the ELITE 2 Division at the Brands Hatch American SpeedFest. The Dane powered his way past Andre Castro in the closing stages of Round 6 to take his second consecutive win in another spectacular race at the 1.9-kilometer long Indy Circuit. The Dexwet-df1 Racing driver was crowned "Prince of Brands Hatch".
After climbing back from last to first in the ELITE 2 Round 5, Soerensen was impressive once again at the wheel of the #66 Chevrolet Camaro. The Aalborg-native started from fifth on the grid and came out the winner at the end of a huge 30-lap battle involving five drivers, which delighted the huge British crowd.
Soerensen passed Andre Castro with a perfect NASCAR-style move in the penultimate lap of the race to grab his third NASCAR Whelen Euro Series career win. Norbert Walchhofer’s Dexwet-df1 Racing was rewarded as the best team of the NASCAR GP UK.
"It was amazing," said Soerensen. "After qualifying I would have never thought about winning here two times. I thank all the mechanics, all the people at Dexwet-df1 Racing and my sponsor flexlease.nu. They made this great win possible. I went a bit deep on Andre, but I knew that it was my only chance. They told me before that ‘rubbing is racing’. A little bit of contact is fair and that’s what I really love about this championship."
Andre Castro again saw his dream of winning an ELITE 2 race shattered in the closing stages of the race. The American ended up second for the third time in the 2019 NWES season. After missing a gear in Druids, he couldn’t defend from attack brought by Soerensen at Graham Hill Bend.
"It was kind like all the weekends we had so far," said Castro. "We end up outside the top places on Saturday and then finish second on Sunday. It’s becoming a routine. I did some really good passes. In the battle for the lead, there was contact but it was fair all the way. I’m happy with the second place here at Brands Hatch."
Giorgio Maggi grabbed his fourth top-5 and third podium finish of the 2019 season. The
Swiss driver was second in the first half of the race but then lost several positions after a small mistake coming down from Paddock Hill Bend. The Hendriks Motorsport driver is now back on top of the ELITE 2 championship standings. The Rookie Trophy podium mirrored the overall ELITE 2 Round 6 running order.
"It was a really tough race," said Maggi. "It is so hard here to get the position back. I’m happy that I’m still leading the championship. The race was a lot of fun. Now I’m looking forward to Most. It’s a technical and very flowing track, which I really like."
Pole sitter Florian Venturi led most of the race while Soerensen, Andre Castro, Nicholas Risitano and Giorgio Maggi furiously fought for second. Once again the Frenchman saw his hopes vanish when a mistake forced him to surrender the lead on restart on lap 24. The Go Fas Racing driver ended up fourth, collecting his third top-5 so far.
"We had some problems yesterday, but today it was my mistake," said Venturi. "I’m very disappointed as I had a big advantage. I’m really disappointed. I just missed a gear. I was not 100% concentrated, I don’t know why, but that’s racing. Now I’m looking forward to Most."
Local hero Scott Jeffs ended up fifth, grabbing his first ever career NWES top-5. The Briton put up a solid performance in his #90 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro. Advait Deodhar brought home his fifth top-10 of the 2019 season, scoring important points in the ELITE 2 championship.
2018 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Rookie of the Year Myatt Snider ran consistently in the top-10 in what was his very first time at the challenging Indy Circuit. The American collected his second top-10 of the weekend by finishing seventh.
Nicholas Risitano had a good start from fourth, jumped to second and defended his position with everything he had until lap 13. The Italian then lost several positions and wasn’t able to get back towards the front. He crossed the finish line in eighth ahead of Alessandro Brigatti and Vittorio Ghirelli, who surrendered the championship lead to Maggi.
Ian Eric Waden won the Legend Trophy classification by finishing 18th. It was the second win of the season in the over-40 classification for the Memphis Racing driver. He edged Mirco Schultis and Michael Bleekemolen, who rounded out the Legend Trophy podium. Arianna Casoli grabbed the win in the Lady Trophy.
The ELITE 2 Division will be back in action on June 29-30 at Autodrom Most, in the Czech Republic. The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will visit Eastern Europe for the first time in its history. Qualifying and all races will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Facebook page and YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and a vast network of websites and social media pages around the world.