The NASCAR GP Czech Republic turned out to be a perfect NASCAR Whelen Euro Series race weekend for Alberto Naska. The Italian swept both EuroNASCAR 2 at Autodrom Most and extended his championship lead by edging reigning champion Martin Doubek by 0.709 seconds. The CAAL Racing driver received the red Whelen banner and will head to the next round at Circuit Zolder in Belgium with a lot of momentum after becoming the driver to claim back-to-back wins in the same event in 2022 across the two NWES championships.
Naska started from pole and defended his lead in turn 1. The Italian fended off the attacks brought by Doubek until the safety car was deployed to recover Luli Del Castello’s car from the gravel trap. The driver of the #54 CAAL Racing car was able to rejoin the field. Because of the several incidents occured in restarts on Saturday, Race Control opted for a Full Course Yellow start and Naska was able to defend his lead again. He also survived another restart after Paolo Valeri and Roberto Benedetti clashed and grabbed the win.
“This was certainly unexpected because the way we started the weekend was not good!” admitted Naska in the Victory Lane. “We were not fast, we were struggling with the setup, but I think today’s victory is a conjunction between the teamwork and my experience because if this happened in the first race, I wouldn’t be able to win.”
Despite his dominating run in both races, Naska made sure to credit his team for the sweep at Most as he has been battling with setup issues on his #88 CAAL Racing Chevrolet Camaro throughout the weekend. He believes that the combination of CAAL Racing’s expertise and his improving driving capabilities allowed him to come out on top in the races.
“I was able to overcome the problems of the car, for example we were struggling with the setup on Friday and the team changed everything so they did a good job. But, I found out it was easier to drive in the afternoon than in the morning so you have to change the way you drive in order to do that in these conditions. I don’t know why, but the car feels different so the team was able to follow my instructions in setup and I was able to adapt to the changes so that’s very much a team victory,” commented Naska on the team effort showcased this week.
Driving the #7 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang, Doubek again ended up second at his home race and secured his fourth podium finish of the 2022 EuroNASCAR season. The podium mirrored the results of EuroNASCAR 2 Round 7 as Vladimiros Tziortzis ended up third after a solid run in his #5 Academy Motorsport / Alex Caffi Motorsport EuroNASCAR FJ. Gil Linster scored his third top-5 of the season in fourth by edging 2018 EuroNASCAR 2 Champion Ulysse Delsaux, who rounded out the top-5.
Paul Jouffreau impressed with another stellar performance for Speedhouse in sixth. The Frenchman was second in the Rookie Trophy behind Naska, who topped the special classification for the sixth time in 2022. Patrick Schober started 23rd and carved his way up to seventh with plenty of strong maneuvers in the 14-lap race. The Austrian, who grew up in Slovakia, ended up in the top-10 for the fourth time this season and completed the Rookie Trophy podium.
Christian Malcharek followed in eighth, while the Marko Stipp Motorsport drivers not only closed the top-10 but also ended up first and second in the Legend Trophy classification for drivers aged 40 and more. Yevgen Sokolovskiy took the win ahead of his teammate Miguel Gomes in tenth. Claudio Cappelli, who had to serve a penalty during the race, completed the Legend Trophy podium by finishing eleventh.
Aliyyah Koloc scored her fourth Lady Trophy win in twelfth place ahead of Luli Del Castello in 14th. Both drivers made a great comeback after they spun off in separate incidents on lap 2 and made up plenty of positions with a solid performance. Arianna Casoli got into the top-3 of the special classification in 16th overall. Tuomas Pontinen had a good run in his #23 Team Bleekemolen Ford Mustang, but a 30 seconds penalty for a jump start shuffled him back to 18th, while Liam Hezemans lost massive ground in the championship battle by only finishing 13th.
Naska now leads the championship by 46 points on Hezemans, but Doubek has closed the gap to the Dutchman as he’s only 6 points behind his teammate with Tziortzis only a further point behind. Naska has a comfortable lead in the EuroNASCAR 2 Championship ahead of the regular season finale at Circuit Zolder. After the NASCAR GP Belgium, drivers will drop their two worst results, while the EuroNASCAR Finals at Automotodrom Grobnik will award double points.
The EuroNASCAR 2 will be back in action at Circuit Zolder on October 8-9, the EuroNASCAR PRO drivers will close another eventful NASCAR Show Most with Round 8 at 14:30 CEST. The race will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and plenty of TV services from around the world.