Stienes Longin left the Czech Republic on Sunday sitting at the top of the ELITE 1 Division standings for the first time in his career despite still being on the hunt for his maiden win in Euro NASCAR’s top division.
After winning the 2016 ELITE 2 title in dominant fashion – he holds the NWES record for the most wins in one season with eight – and steadily progressing towards the front of the grid, Longin emerged as a title contender in 2019. The Leuven-native scored his first pole position in Brands Hatch and six second place finishes out of eight races, for an average finishing position of 3.0.
With another consistent performance in the Czech Republic, Longin took over the ELITE 1 points standings lead with a 17-point advantage on Nicolo Rocca. In the process, he grabbed the Fastest Driver Award by Tijey in the series debut at Autodrom Most.
"Being the championship leader is the best thing about all this second places I scored so far," said Longin, whose #11 Projob Workwear Camaro will feature the red Whelen sticker on its windshield for the first time at Venray in two weeks. "It’s a nice feeling to be in the lead and to be on the podium almost every weekend. We worked hard this winter but I can tell you these races were just so tough."
The Euro NASCAR races in Czechia proved to be a tough physical test for the drivers with air temperatures up to 40°C. Temperatures in the cars were estimated up to 70°C. Only top fit race drivers are able to get the maximum out of a race car under those conditions.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will be back in action in two weeks in the Netherlands. The only oval race of the 2019 Euro NASCAR season will be held at Raceway Venray, the "Fastest half-mile oval in Europe". Longin scored a third place in the ELITE 1 Division in 2017 and won both ELITE 2 races in 2016 at the unique short-track.