The coronavirus crisis has led to cancellations and postponements in motorsports worldwide and Giorgio Maggi must therefore wait for the long-awaited season opener of the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) with Hendriks Motorsport. The Swiss wants to compete with the European NASCAR elite in the EuroNASCAR PRO championship in the upcoming season. However, there is a good way to keep in rhythm even in times of crisis: SimRacing!
Last Monday Maggi and his NWES colleagues Loris Hezemans, Alon Day, Ben Creanor and Alessandro Brigatti took part in the NWES 110 at the Glen of the Italian Cin Cup Series. The race at Watkins Glen’s virtual race track was broadcast live on YouTube.
In a field consisting of the NWES drivers and experienced NASCAR SimRacers from Italy, Maggi showed great potential. Throughout the race, the runner-up of the 2019 EuroNASCAR 2 season managed to keep up with the top-10. Just a small mistake in the pits ruined a better result, but in the end the Hendriks Motorsport driver finished in a solid tenth place.
"The race actually went quite well, especially since I have rarely driven NASCAR cars in iRacing so far," said Maggi. "I only did SimRacing in my freetime for fun. Together with my teammate Loris I worked out a good setup, which proved to be fast in the race. After a good start I was able to keep up with Loris all the time. I was right behind him most of the laps and it was all about protecting the tyres, as they were the key to success".
"I wanted to make an early pit stop to have some laps without traffic," he added. "Unfortunately, I missed my pit box when I was adjusting the amount of fuel to add. So I had to pit again. But in the end I’m very happy with the tenth place."
The next SimRacing challenge awaits Maggi next Friday, when the NWES drivers will start in the French i-FRN. This time the race will be held at the virtual Charlotte Motor Speedway, a classic 1.5-mile oval from the American NASCAR Cup Series.
"We have already completed the first practice session," explained Maggi. "I still have to work a little to be able to drive at the limit in the oval. On one lap I’m on pace by now, but it will come down to the long run. I’m curious how we can fight on the oval. Due to the monitor the view is of course a bit restricted. But I’m still curious how it will be and I think we can achieve a good result. It’s great that the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series gives us the opportunity to participate in these events at times like this."
The i-FRN race at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be broadcast live on the EuroNASCAR YouTube channel next Friday at 9pm. Maggi and Hezemans will once again dive into the virtual world together for Hendriks Motorsport and fight for victory.