Giorgio Maggi had a blast of a weekend, when the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series visited the Brands Hatch Circuit for the ninth edition of the hugely popular American SpeedFest. The Swiss driver topped the Junior Trophy ranks in both races and took over the lead in the special EuroNASCAR PRO classification for drivers aged 25 and under.
The 24-year-old started the weekend on the right foot when he qualified for Superpole with the fifth quickest time overall. Maggi was set to fight for the Junior Trophy win and leave a mark in the overall EuroNASCAR PRO standings in front of over 46.000 fans and confirmed the fifth spot on the grid in Superpole.
To concentrate ahead of Saturday’s EuroNASCAR PRO Round 3, the Swiss listened to German Hip-Hop before climbing in the #18 Race Art Technology Toyota Camry. Over the course of 38 laps around the Indy Circuit, Maggi lost grasp of the fifth place only once in favor of Martin Doubek, but both he and the Czech driver were able to overtake Frederic Gabillon in a tight battle. Finishing fifth, Maggi earned his first top-5 finish of the season after a decent season opener at Valencia. Maggi had the pace to keep up with the front runners and therefore started in Sunday’s race highly motivated from seventh on the grid.
In EuroNASCAR PRO Round 4, Maggi entered the battle for the race win. After a crash between Alon Day and Gianmarco Ercoli – the Israeli got a drive through penalty – the 24-year-old was just centimeters away from his maiden EuroNASCAR PRO win. The three-time EuroNASCAR 2 was on the rear bumper of eventual race winner Alexander Graff for the last part of the race, but never found a way past the Swede, who scored his maiden NASCAR Whelen Euro Series win. Maggi had to settle for second and grabbed his second consecutive Junior Trophy win.
The Hergiswil native is now leading the special classification in sixth overall. Jonne Rautjarvi also scored important points for the Junior Trophy at Brands Hatch. The Team Bleekemolen driver from Finland had a solid race weekend that brought him onto the podium once. In EuroNASCAR PRO Round 3 on Saturday, the NWES newcomer ended up 17th and therefore second in the Junior Trophy ranks. It was the first time the Finn lifted a EuroNASCAR Trophy in air.
Another first timer on the Junior Trophy podium was Aliyyah Koloc. The 17-year-old took third place on Saturday by finishing 24th overall. The Buggyra ZM-MFT Racing driver had a weekend full of ups and downs at Brands Hatch by pulling double duties in both EuroNASCAR championships. While she got her first EuroNASCAR PRO trophy in the first race, Koloc was involved in a crash in Sunday’s round that ended her good run at the short Indy Circuit.
Liam Hezemans also raced in both championships because Tobias Dauenhauer was sidelined due to a Covid-19 infection. Making his EuroNASCAR PRO debut, Hezemans took second in the Junior Trophy in Sunday’s race. He also scored his maiden EuroNASCAR 2 win in the closing round of the American SpeedFest. Leonardo Colavita, who already earned his first Junior Trophy cup in Valencia, again finished third in Sunday’s race by ending up 23rd overall.
A total of seven different drivers climbed on the Junior Trophy podium in the first four races of the season.
NWES newcomer Eivind Brynildsen was the first ever Norwegian to race in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series but Lady Luck was not on his side. The Speedhouse driver ended up 29th in his first race on Sunday, finishing fifth in the Junior Trophy standings right behind Hezemans. Both drivers suffered from crashes in EuroNASCAR PRO Round 3. Thomas Krasonis was not classified in the first race and got tangled up in a clash with Gianmarco Ercoli in Sunday’s round. The Greek is poised to turn things around and attack again in the next EuroNASCAR race weekend.
Maggi leads the Junior Trophy standings in sixth overall with 117 points on his tally. Rautjarvi is now in second 50 points behind the Swiss, while Dauenhauer, who missed the NASCAR GP UK due to a Covid-19 infection, still holds third 53 markers shy of the Race Art Technology driver.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will be back in action on July 9-10 at the Autodromo di Vallelunga in Italy. With Dauenhauer expected back on the grid, the battle for glory in the Junior Trophy is expected to be exciting and close. Qualifying and all races will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR.com, the NWES YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and plenty of TV services from around the world.