Martin Doubek dominated the Challenger Trophy classification at the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, but NASCAR Whelen Euro Series veteran Fabrizio Armetta brought his name into the mix with two strong races in his #55 The Club Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro. The Italian stormed into the top-10 overall and stood on the specixal classification’s podium twice. He’s now tied with Yevgen Sokolovskiy and Henri Tuomaala in second and all three are chasing Martin Doubek.
With 15 Challenger Trophy drivers on the grid, the EuroNASCAR PRO championship welcomes the largest grid of bronze and silver drivers in its history. The battle for the trophy win among them will surely heat up over the course of the season.
In the first race, Armetta, who won the Challenger Trophy in 2014, impressed with a strong run in front of the thousands of fans attending the ninth edition of the American SpeedFest. The 49-year-old made it into Superpole with a quick lap in his qualifying group and ended up eighth on the grid. With a strong starting position in his pocket, Armetta was poised to make up ground on Doubek in EuroNASCAR PRO Round 3.
While Doubek topped the Challenger Trophy standings in fourth, Armetta gained one position in the 38-lap race to finish seventh and score his first top-10 of the 2022 NWES season. The 49-year-old took second in the special classification and beat the winningest Challenger Trophy driver of all time, Henri Tuomaala, who closed the podium in twelfth. The Finn is chasing the third Challenger Trophy title.
Doubek also dominated the standings in the second race finishing third – his maiden EuroNASCAR PRO overall podium – but Armetta was able to confirm his pace and take advantage of the momentum: the Italian ended up third in the Challenger Trophy ranks in eleventh place under the checkered flag. Davide Dallara, who said the race on Sunday was the best of his life, finished seventh, grabbing second place among the Challenger ranks after a fourth place on Saturday.
Dario Caso closed the Challenger Trophy top-5 on Saturday with a good performance but had to settle for tenth in a tough Sunday run. Cosimo Barberini also experienced a rollercoaster of emotions as the Italian finished sixth and 13th over the course of the weekend. Riccardo Romagnoli showed great consistency by grabbing seventh and fifth on the second The Club Motorsport car.
Constantin Kletzer made his NWES debut at Brands Hatch and collected two top-10 results among the Challenger drivers by finishing eighth and ninth. The Austrian and Ian Eric Waden battled against each other on the track in both races. Waden was ninth and eighth under the checkered flag.
Yevgen Sokolovskiy also collected two more top-10 finishes. The Ukrainian was 10th on Saturday but stormed to sixth in EuroNASCAR PRO Round 4. Christoph Lenz had a solid weekend by entering the top-10 once in seventh on Sunday. On Saturday, he managed to finish the race in eleventh place among the bronze and silver drivers. Nicolo Gabossi almost made it to the top-10 but missed it narrowly in eleventh and twelfth place.
Claudio Cappelli had a weekend of ups and downs at Brands Hatch: like Sokolovskiy, the Italian pulled double duties and didn’t get into his rhythm in the first race. On Sunday, he turned things around and grabbed fourth in the Challenger Trophy classification. While Bernardo Manfre finished 14th twice, Frederic Monti was 15th and twelfth under the checkered flag.
Doubek leads the Challenger Trophy standings in fourth overall with 121 points on his account. Armetta, Tuomaala and Sokolovskiy are tied for second with 79 points each. Max Lanza closes the top-5 with 65 points collected. The Italian missed the NASCAR GP UK due to health issues.
The Challenger Trophy drivers will be back in action on July 9-10 at Autodromo di Vallelunga in Italy. A record grid promises more thrilling and exciting battles among the bronze and silver drivers in EuroNASCAR PRO. 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.