Alberto Naska scored his fourth career NASCAR Whelen Euro Series win at Autodrom Most thanks to a strong overtaking maneuver on reigning EuroNASCAR 2 Champion Martin Doubek on lap 2 and extended his championship lead. The driver of the #88 CAAL Racing Chevrolet Camaro will keep the red Whelen banner on his windshield and open the gap on Liam Hezemans, who crashed his car on lap 11.
Several incidents forced race control to deploy the safety car three times during the 14-lap race at the 4.2 kilometer Bohemian track. Naska fended off all attacks by the local hero and sped to victory. Naska leads the championship now with 30 points ahead of Hezemans, while Vladimiros Tziortzis ended up third to score his 5th podium in the 2022 NWES season.
“I was truly going to vomit inside the car because we spent half an hour warming up the tires!” joked Naska in the Victory Lane. “It was really hard to keep focus because even though it was a long race, I think I have the better pace so there was no problem in that but four restarts, it’s really hard! I spent the entire race with Doubek, who was always starting better than me, so that was really hard but the car was great. The team did an incredible job because yesterday we were struggling a lot and today the car was amazing.”
Naska and Doubek fought all race long for the lead, but the Hendriks Motorsport driver never found the space to attack the championship leader. When the checkered flag waved, only 0.585 seconds separated the two contenders who had clashed at the NASCAR GP Italy in Vallelunga before the summer break. Naska also topped the standings in the Rookie Trophy.
Finishing fourth was Speedhouse driver Paul Jouffreau, who battled his way to the front with a damaged car as he also took second in the Rookie Trophy. The Frenchman took advantage of a frantic last lap to overtake several cars in a couple of corners.
Marko Stipp Motorsport’s Yevgen Sokolovskiy also snuck into the top-5 for the first time in his NASCAR career and took the win in the Legend Trophy for drivers aged 40 and more. Claudio Cappelli was sixth overall, third in the Rookie Trophy and second in the Legend Trophy. Gil Linster fell back at the start but climbed back to seventh in an eventful race.
Aliyyah Koloc, another local driver for the Czech top team Buggyra ZM Racing, topped the standings in the Lady Trophy by finishing eighth overall. The driver of the #29 Ford Mustang edged Tuomas Pontinen, who drifted through the gravel trap and grass several times during the race. Alina Loibnegger fought her way into the top-10 for the first time in her career and took second in the Lady Trophy ahead of Arianna Casoli, who ended up 16th overall. Matthias Hauer completed the Legend Trophy podium in 11th place.
Hezemans suffered a heavy setback as he crashed into the car of Doubek and fell back to 18th overall, 6 laps down after his retirement. The young Dutchman was visibly upset with the outcome of his race. Patrick Schober, Michael Bleekemolen, Kasparas Vingilis and Luli Del Castello also had to retire after being involved in a crash in EuroNASCAR 2 Round 7.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will return to action on Sunday for another day of exciting racing at the NASCAR GP Czech Republic. While the EuroNASCAR 2 race will go live at 10:35 am CEST, the EuroNASCAR PRO drivers will hit the track at 2:30 pm CEST. All races will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and several TV services from all around the world.