The first day of the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season finale went into the history books with a strong performance by Tobias Dauenhauer, who expanded his EuroNASCAR 2 championship lead thanks to a dominant win at Autodromo di Vallelunga. The German led all 15 laps and therefore expanded his championship lead to 13 points on his Hendriks Motorsport teammate Martin Doubek, who stormed from sixth on the grid to second under the checkered flag.
Dauenhauer made a good start and defended his lead from Pole Position. The German quickly opened a gap on the rest of the field, while title contender Doubek began his comeback. A caution on lap 9 bunched the field back up, but Dauenhauer kept his cool on the ensuing restart and fended off all attacks by the Czech, who climbed up the ranks to second. The 23-year-old Heppenheim native scored his fifth win of the season and expanded his championship lead on his #50 Ford Mustang.
“It was the perfect start to the weekend for us”, said Dauenhauer. “We grabbed the Pole Position in Qualifying and now won the first Final. I’m very happy and the whole Hendriks Motorsport team did a great job. Tomorrow it’s all about giving my maximum and going full gas. There is no other strategy than to go full power and win the championship.”
Doubek kept his championship dreams alive despite starting from sixth in EuroNASCAR 2 Final 1. The Czech was already up to fourth on lap 2 and on lap 6 he took over third from Vladimiros Tziortzis, who was shuffled down the order after starting from the front row. Doubek then also got past Franceso Garisto to finish second under the checkered flag.
42 Racing’s Garisto followed in third and celebrated his second podium of the season. The Italian bested DF1 Racing’s Simon Pilate on the #66 Chevrolet Camaro. Pilate overtook Tziortzis on lap 6 to take over fourth place and score a solid top-5 result – the fifth of the season. Naveh Talor was fifth at the finish, but a penalty dropped him down the order. Justin Kunz inherited the last spot inside the top-5.
DF1 Racing youngster Leevi Lintukanto ended up sixth and topped the Rookie Trophy ranks, while Leonardo Colavita took second place for Vict Motorsport in the special classification by finishing seventh. 42 Racing newcomer Alfredo De Matteo was eighth, Max Lanza won the Legend Trophy and Talor, who rounded out the top 10.
Alina Loibnegger and Arianna Casoli were battling for the win in the Lady Trophy. In the last lap, the Austrian tried to pass Casoli but “made a mistake” and therefore made contact with the Italian CAAL Racing driver, who was forced to retire. Loibnegger – who got a penalty – won the Lady Trophy race, but refused to lift the trophy at the podium as she “felt sorry for Arianna”.
The EuroNASCAR Final 2 on Sunday at 10:05 am CET will be a real showdown between the two Hendriks Motorsport drivers Dauenhauer and Doubek. The duo is separated by only 13 points: that means Doubek needs a win and a fourth place finish by Dauenhauer to become the EuroNASCAR 2 champion. Dauenhauer will be champion for sure if he finishes second or wins the race. Final 2 will be broadcasted live on EuroNASCAR’s platforms – YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, NWES App – and Motorsport.tv.