“Gentlemen, start your engines!”: Melvin de Groot ahead of Miguel Gomes in the Legend Trophy

The battle for the Legend Trophy – the special classification for gentlemen drivers aged 40 and more in EuroNASCAR 2 – is on and it’s Melvin de Groot who reconquered the lead in the regular season finale at Circuit Zolder, Belgium. After skipping the fourth event of the season at Autodrom Most and dropping both zeroes, the Dutchman did not have any room for a single mistake at the venue in the woods of Limburg. With his fifth Legend Trophy race win of the season, the Team Bleekemolen driver retook first place in the ranks ahead of Marko Stipp Motorsport’s Miguel Gomes.

In fact, Gomes’ teammate Yevgen Sokolovskiy is second in the Legend Trophy classification, but the Ukrainian will miss the EuroNASCAR Finals as he’s representing his country in an international event. Therefore, the pressure is on the Portuguese to challenge de Groot and deliver a spectacular season finale among the Legend drivers in EuroNASCAR 2. The pair is separated by only 28 points and with double points on the line, Gomes still has plenty of opportunities to beat de Groot.

Bart Dehaese Melvin De Groot Zolder 2022
Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Bart Dehaese

But the Dutchman had a very consistent and solid season so far: He took three consecutive Legend Trophy victories in the beginning of the season to show who’s going to be the driver to beat in the 2022 NWES season. He also won the second race at Brands Hatch before taking a break in the Czech Republic. De Groot was back at Circuit Zolder and grabbed his fifth Legend Trophy win of the season with a phenomenal third place overall. Gomes, on the other hand, is still looking for a way to score his maiden win in the special classification.

“I had a good start in Sunday’s race and the setup of the car was just brilliant,” said de Groot. “In the opening laps I overtook a car in every lap so I carved my way up the ranks. It was good because I took over the seventh position. Despite my rear tires getting worse every lap in the second half of the race, I had a great fight with the guys up front. In the end it was good enough for seventh, so yesterday with a third place finish it was way better. We are back in the lead of the Legend Trophy and I’m looking forward to battling for the title at Automotodrom Grobnik.”

Klemen Sofric Miguel Gomes Zolder 2022

Gomes added: “It is a good result, considering I had to start with used front tyres from Most after Saturday’s crash. Finally, I had some luck at Zolder.” The Portuguese impressed with his consistency so far but will surely give his best to finally stand on the highest step of the Legend Trophy podium. By beating de Groot at Grobnik, Gomes could become a title threat for the Dutchman and a real surprise in the 2022 NWES season. The Marko Stipp Motorsport driver joined the championship back in 2021 and improved his performance from race to race.

De Groot is the fifth most successful driver in the history of the Legend Trophy with eight wins so far in his career. With a perfect sweep he could get himself to fourth place behind Alain Grand, who has eleven Legend Trophy race wins on his tally. He could also become the ninth different Legend Trophy champion if he beats Gomes in the EuroNASCAR Finals at Automotodrom Grobnik – the Fracasso NASCAR GP Croatia – on October 29-30. Qualifying and all races will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, and several TV services from around the world.

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