The 2021 EuroNASCAR 2 Championship was decided in the last race of the season at Autodromo di Vallelunga. Martin Doubek overcame a 13-point deficit on Tobias Dauenhauer by winning Final 2 in a dominant fashion and was crowned the new EuroNASCAR 2 Champion. The points lead changed 3 times during the race but in the end, the driver of the #7 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang sped to victory and grabbed the beautiful EuroNASCAR 2 Championship Trophy made by Tijey.
Doubek entered the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in 2015 and had his break-through in 2020 when he won his first race at Circuit Zolder. Since then, the Czech became one of the dominant forces in the championship dedicated to young talents and gentlemen drivers. With 5 race wins in the 2021 EuroNASCAR 2 season, Doubek capped a perfect year with Hendriks Motorsport by winning his first major title in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
Drama unfolded from lap 1 to the checkered flag: Doubek made a good start and took over second place after starting from third. Francesco Garisto got into the race lead when polesitter Dauenhauer was shuffled back to fifth after being involved in the first turn chaos that took Simon Pilate and Vladimiros Tziortzis out of the race. With Doubek in second and Dauenhauer in fifth, the latter would have grabbed the championship crown.
On lap 3, Doubek overtook Garisto to take the lead – the maximum the Czech was able to do to keep his championship dream alive. The outcome of the Championship depended on Dauenhauer’s finishing position. The German driving the #50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang had to finish no worse than third to get back in the championship lead. On lap 7, Dauenhauer managed to get past Justin Kunz for fourth place.
The championship situation was turned upside down on lap 9, when Dauenhauer took over third with a strong pass on Garisto – the championship crown was now back in the hands of the German. On lap 10, drama struck again as Dauenhauer got off track and hit the barriers. The German was shuffled back to tenth and saw his chances of winning the championship go up in smoke and dust. At the end of 15 nail-biting laps, Doubek grabbed the checkered flag to become the tenth EuroNASCAR 2 Champion since the inception of the official European NASCAR series in 2012.
“I’m really happy and I don’t know what to say,” the new Champion Doubek said after the decisive race of the 2021 EuroNASCAR 2 season. “I have no celebrations planned for tonight, but we will celebrate the championship win for sure. Right now I’m just speechless and feeling awesome. Thanks to all the Hendriks Motorsport crew for an amazing year in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.”
After his dramatic crash on lap 10, Dauenhauer only finished 13th under the checkered flag. As in 2020, the German lost the championship battle in the final race of the season and became the runner-up in 2021 – rounding out a strong 1-2 finish for the Dutch powerhouse Hendriks Motorsport. The overall podium was completed by Zolder race winner Naveh Talor, who ended up second in a crazy race at Autodromo di Vallelunga. The Israeli had another solid run on his #90 Not Only Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro.
NWES veteran Justin Kunz scored his second podium finish of the 2021 NWES season on his #22 DF1 Racing Chevrolet Camaro, while 42 Racing’s Garisto and Double V Racing’s Pierluigi Veronsi rounded out the top-5 of the race. Leonardo Colavita won the race in the Rooky Trophy ranks in sixth right ahead of Leevi Lintukanto. Alfredo De Matteo was eighth beating Legend Trophy race winner Yevgen Sokolovskiy on his #48 Marko Stipp Motorsport Camaro. Paolo Valeri completed the race’s top-10.
Three Trophy battles were decided in the last race of the season in Italy: The Rookie Trophy went to Not Only Motorsport’s Alberto Panebianco, who bested DF1 Racing’s Lintukanto. The Italian finished 19th and 3 laps down but still managed to top the special classification. The Rookie Trophy podium was rounded out by Marko Stipp Motorsport’s Miguel Gomes on his #46 Marko Stipp Motorsport Camaro.
The Legend Trophy for drivers aged 40 and more went to CAAL Racing’s NWES veteran Massimiliano “Max” Lanza. The Italian was 12th under the checkered flag and therefore beat Sokolovskiy in the special classification. The Ukrainian’s teammate Miguel Gomes closed the season in third place of the Legend Trophy standings. Alina Loibnegger won the race in the Lady Trophy in 16th, but Arianna Casoli clinched the title by finishing 17th in the race. The CAAL Racing driver is now the only three-time Lady Trophy Champion in the history books.
Another dramatic and unpredictable EuroNASCAR 2 season has come to an end under the shining sun of Italy. While the preparations for the 2022 Championship will begin shortly, the EuroNASCAR PRO Championship is still on the line. Loris Hezemans, Vittorio Ghirelli and Gianmarco Ercoli would clinch the title with a race win – Lucas Lasserre and Nicolo Rocca will need the help of Lady Luck to get back into the championship battle. The final race of the 2022 season will take place at 1:35 pm CET and be broadcasted live on EuroNASCAR’s platforms – YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, NWES App – and Motorsport.tv.
Featured image Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard