Italian team Not Only Motorsport scored its first ever NASCAR Whelen Euro Series win at Circuit Zolder in Belgium. In EuroNASCAR 2 Round 9, Naveh Talor from Israel sped to victory at the wheel of his #90 Chevrolet Camaro. Davide Dallara collected important points in the EuroNASCAR PRO Challenger Trophy, while Nicolo Gabossi gathered plenty of experience at the wheel of a 400hp V8 beast without any driving aids. Alberto Panebianco strengthened his lead in the Rookie Trophy. But most important: the team showed that it’s a real family by celebrating Talor’s win all together.
Talor almost put his hands on the first Pole Award for Not Only Motorsport but was beaten by his buddy Vladimiros Tziortzis in the last 3 minutes of the EuroNASCAR 2 Qualifying. At the start of Saturday’s race, the 20-year-old from Herzliya made the decisive move on the Cypriot to conquer the lead and celebrate his first win in EuroNASCAR’s Victory Lane. In Sunday’s race, he finished in seventh. Talor entered the official European NASCAR Series in 2019 and became a top driver step by step.
“My weekend was pretty amazing,” Talor said after letting his first NASCAR win sink in. “From the let go I felt fast and that we had the potential for a good result. Qualifying was great for me with a strong second place. The first race was simply perfect: I got the lead in turn 1 and then felt like a robot driving the car to the checkered flag. It was amazing to score my maiden win! I’m heading to the Finals at Vallelunga in fourth in the overall standings and I’m close to the top-3. My goal is to be among the top-3 drivers at the end of the year.”
Switching to EuroNASCAR PRO, Dallara experienced a weekend of ups and downs. The reigning Challenger Trophy Champion struggled in the past 2 events and was keen to turn the tide at Zolder – a track he found challenging in 2020. The Italian ended up tenth and 14th in the races, scoring important points in the battle for the Challenger Trophy but lacked the pace to attack the top spots in EuroNASCAR’s premier category. With mixed feelings, Dallara is set to go for the special classification’s win at his hometrack in Italy.
“I wasn’t fast at Zolder last year and we struggled in the past 4 rounds, so I was a bit afraid coming to Belgium,” the 28-year-old said. “We saw in Free Practice that the car was much better than in Rijeka because the team did an amazing job to improve it and understand what was wrong in the past. I qualified in a solid twelfth position and topped the Challenger Trophy ranks.”
“In Round 9 I had an amazing battle with Ulysse Delsaux, who overtook me on the last lap, so I finished tenth and first in the Challenger Trophy standings. In the second race I started 13th and didn’t want to take many risks. I finished 14th again and topped the special classification again. The good thing: I’m only 4 points shy of Henri Tuomaala in the Challenger Trophy standings and my goal is to win the championship at Vallelunga. I’m also very happy for Naveh, who proved that our team is capable of winning!”
For EuroNASCAR 2’s Rookie Trophy leader Alberto Panebianco, the Zolder weekend was a rollercoaster of emotions. The Italian struggled in the first race and finished 13th – second in the Rooky Trophy ranks. In the second race on Sunday, the driver of the #89 Chevrolet Camaro struck back with a solid sixth place and a win in the special classification for newcomers in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Being tied in seventh with Simon Pilate, Panebianco leads the Rookie Trophy by 41 points ahead of Leevi Lintukanto. In Vallelunga, the Italian wants to secure the championship win.
“It was a bittersweet weekend for me,” said Panebianco. “First of all, I’m happy about Naveh’s and the team’s maiden win in EuroNASCAR. That was the result of the amazing work the whole organisation did. I had a bad Qualifying and that’s why I saw myself battling in the midfield and I spun while trying to recover. In the end, I finished second in the Rookie Trophy in the first race.”
“I had a very good second race but the safety car period and a hit in the last lap shuffled me back to sixth. I still topped the Rookie Trophy standings and that put us in a great position for the Finals in Italy. I want to get the Rookie Trophy crown and make my team proud in my first year of auto racing. We improved race by race and now it’s time to collect the reward for our hard work at Not Only Motorsport. I’m very hyped!”
Gabossi gathered important experience during his second event in the EuroNASCAR PRO Championship. The Italian, who’s driving the #90 Camaro, 15th and 19th in the races at Circuit Zolder. Gabossi never drove a real race car before 2021 and showed a solid performance despite his lack of experience. One thing is clear: the Not Only Motorsport driver tasted blood and is keen to keep progressing in EuroNASCAR next season.
“Zolder was a fantastic weekend for me,” he said. “I’m so happy for Naveh’s and the team’s maiden win! The team is working really hard and now we can see the results finally coming. That gives me hope for next season. It was my second race and I’m satisfied with the progress and the help the team gives me. Before this year, I never drove a real race car and I’m grateful for the opportunity Simona Del Plavignano and Luca Giovannelli gave me.”
“I still have to learn a lot and there’s a lot of room to improve. Zolder is a track I like a lot and I hope to be back here again next year. For Vallelunga, I hope to win at least one race in the Challenger Trophy and close the gap on my competitors. It’s the final race of the season and I want to do well for my team. For myself, I focus on developing and improving step by step – race by race.”
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Final will take place on October 30-31 at Autodromo di Vallelunga in Italy. In both championships, the overall and Trophies winners will be crowned. Qualifying and all races will be broadcasted live on EuroNASCAR’s platforms – YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, NWES App – and Motorsport.tv.