On a drying Circuit Zolder, Thomas Ferrando grabbed his maiden ELITE 1 Division pole position, while Giorgio Maggi scored his fourth back-to-back pole position in the ELITE 2 Division.
In the ELITE 1 Division, Thomas Ferrando took advantage of his slick General Tire tyres to top the chart in Superpole, turning the 4-km of Circuit Zolder in 1:45.720 in his very last lap. The CAAL Racing driver became the seventh different Pole Award winner of the 2019 season, further highlighting the extreme parity in the top division’s field.
“It’s amazing to win the pole position,” said the 2017 ELITE 2 Division champion. “It was exciting but also not easy to handle the car in those damp conditions and there were different strategies with different types of tires. The team did a really great job and gave me a great car to grab this Pole Award. I’m really happy and now I’m hoping for a good race this afternoon. If Gianmarco Ercoli can win an ELITE 1 Division race as a former ELITE 2 Division champion, I can do it, too! I will give my best to grab the win today.”
Brand Hatch race winner and RDV Competition driver Frederic Gabillon ended up second just 0.167 seconds shy of his fellow countryman. The Frenchman edged Marc Goossens, who’s back at the wheel of the #78 Braxx Racing Ford Mustang on the track where he won his first NASCAR race in 2017.
The #11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro of Stienes Longin was heavily damaged in the ELITE 2 Division practice on Friday with NWES rookie Niels Albert at the wheel. The PK Carsport team managed to repair the car and put Longin in fourth place for the first of the two ELITE 1 Division Finals. Racing Engineering’s Romain Iannetta completed the top-5.
Championship contender Loris Hezemans qualified in sixth position. Gianmarco Ercoli was seventh ahead of Guillaume Deflandre, Ulysse Delsaux and Alex Sedgwick, who rounded out the top-10.
Hezemans’ closest rival for the Euro NASCAR title, Nicolo Rocca, continued to struggle on the damp but drying Circuit Zolder. The Italian only finished eleventh at the wheel of his #24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro. He edged Alon Day, who despite being quickest in Free Practice on Friday will start from twelfth on the grid in ELITE 1 Final 1. The Israeli’s goal is to tie Ander Vilarino’s record of 22 NWES wins, but he will have to carve his way up the ranks in the race.
Challenger Trophy leader Henri Tuomaala was the fastest among silver and bronze drivers in the ELITE 1 Division in 17th place. Alexander Graff, Ander Vilarino and Jacques Villeneuve all missed the cut to Superpole and will start respectively 15th, 19th and 20th.
Maggi wins fourth back-to-back pole position
Hendriks Motorsport’s Giorgio Maggi clocked a 1:42.910 lap around the 4-kilometer track in the woods of Limburg and grabbed his fourth consecutive pole position of the 2019 ELITE 2 Division championship. The points leader will have a significant advantage on title rival Lasse Soerensen, who only qualified sixth.
“It was a really tricky session because I had a big moment in turn 3,” said Maggi. “It was really hard to judge how fast I could go through that part of the track. It went well and the car felt good. I’m really happy to grab my fourth pole here at Circuit Zolder. The conditions were difficult, because some parts on track the track were faster than other parts and we really had to find out, how fast we can go from corner to corner.”
Nicolo Rocca was the last driver to score four back-to-back pole positions and he did it in the 2015 ELITE 1 Division championship.
Vittorio Ghirelli on his #24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro ended up second 0.662 seconds behind the polesitter. NWES newcomer Hugo De Sadeleer confirmed the impressive pace he showed at Hockenheim by grabbing third place on his #88 Racing Engineering Ford Mustang.
Maggi’s teammate Martin Doubek ended up fourth ahead of Alex Caffi Motorsports’ Jesse Vartiainen, who closed the top-5 with another strong performance. Sitting just eleventh points behind Maggi, championship contender Soerensen was sixth on the #66 Dexwet-Df1 Racing Chevrolet Camaro ahead of Advait Deodhar and Justin Kunz.
Valencia race winner Nicholas Risitano and Myatt Snider completed the top-10. Michael Bleekemolen led the Legend Trophy classification ahead of Ian Eric Waden. The two Trophy contenders will start 15th and 16th on the grid.
The 2019 NWES season Finals will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the NWES YouTube and Facebook pages, Motosport.tv and a vast network of websites and social media pages from around the world.