Arianna Casoli enjoys positive weekend In EuroNASCAR in demanding conditions at Most
"I bring home a good haul of points in all the classes, as well as the satisfaction of having managed such a demanding weekend" - Arianna Casoli continued her consistent season in EuroNASCAR at Autodrom Most by scoring her equal best result of the season in a challenging wet race two, and maintained her excellent record of being a classified finisher in every race this season. With two second places in class, Arianna keeps the lead in the Lady Trophy category.
Equalling her season’s best result, Arianna Casoli rounded off an action-packed weekend at Autodrom Most with a 16th place finish in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
The SpeedHouse Racing driver adapted well to challenging conditions and maintained her excellent record of being a classified finisher in every Euro NASCAR 2 race this season. After an encouraging 17th place result in a dry race one, Casoli finished 16th in a wet race two while avoiding incidents and dealing with lapped traffic.
Having shown great consistency during the 2023 season to date with points scoring finishes in every race, Arianna sat inside the top-15 of the Euro NASCAR 2 standings heading into Most. Casoli ended opening practice in 19th overall, with significant improvements to follow in practice two. Setting her quickest time on the final lap of the session, Arianna finished the day 19th in Euro NASCAR 2 and was aiming for further improvements in qualifying.
"It was a complex weekend in Most due to changeable weather conditions", Arianna told us, recapping her weekend. "There was a large public presence already from Thursday for the parade in the city center of Most, but also for the whole weekend on track despite the rain showers."
Qualifying on Saturday morning was held on a damp, but drying track providing a further challenge for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series drivers. Arianna did a great job to improve her times throughout the session, with her quickest time coming on her final lap to place her 21st overall ahead of the first of two races to come at Autodrom Most.
"We qualified in anomalous conditions with a mid-session tyre change, as the track was slowly drying out. A conservative choice didn't allow me to get the lap time I hoped for, and I could only shake down the slick tyre for a couple of laps ahead of race 1, having taken the chequered flag on my flying lap", she recalled.
Aiming to make progress in the first race of the weekend in dry conditions, Arianna gained five positions on the opening lap to move into 16th as a full course yellow period was called. When racing resumed on lap five, Casoli made a clean restart before losing out to Sven Van Laere and Matthias Hauer, dropping the Italian driver to 18th.
"Starting in P19, Race 1 was quite eventful due to various accidents that caused safety cars and full course yellows on multiple occasions", Casoli said. "After a great start and a good single row restart after the first safety car, I started to experience problems with debris that had damaged the floor of the car."
The issue caused Arianna to take a trip to the pits, after which she recovered well in the closing stages to set competitive lap times to round out the opening race at Most. Gaining a further position ahead of fellow legend trophy driver Claudio Cappelli on the twelfth and final lap, the SpeedHouse Racing driver finished 17th.
"At the second FCY I had to go back to the pits to have the debris removed - having however lost a lap", Casoli said.
Despite the late setback, Casoli continued her record of being a classified finisher in every race this season and therefore collected valuable championship points in the penultimate event of the regular season.
"Despite the inconvenience, I managed to finish the race in P17 overall, second in the lady trophy and fifth in the Legend trophy."
Race two would throw further challenges Arianna’s way with extremely wet conditions leading to a start behind the safety car.
"The weather conditions saw heavy rain and a lot of standing water on the track, which was a new experience and very demanding", Arianna continued.
From 19th on the grid, the SpeedHouse driver negotiated a tricky opening lap to move into 18th and within striking distance of the drivers ahead. By lap four, Casoli was up to 16th and with a pass on Alina Loibnegger a lap later, was now in the lead of the lady trophy class while also running inside the top-15.
On lap seven, Loibnegger re-passed Casoli but the Italian driver continued to run competitive times to end race two in 16th. This was another strong result for Arianna who maintained her top-15 position in the championship standings, while equalling her best finish of the season to date.
"Starting from the back, the visibility was prohibitive, so much so that you had to imagine where the track was since you couldn't even see the rain lights of the cars ahead", Arianna explained. "Nevertheless, I finished in P16, second in the lady trophy right behind my direct opponent and P8 in the Legend trophy."
Arianna continued her consistent season in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series at Autodrom Most and scored her equal best result of the season in a hugely challenging wet race two. Casoli also led a number of laps in the lady trophy class and although finishing second in class in both races, maintains her lead in this category.
"I bring home a good haul of points in all the classes, as well as the satisfaction of having managed such a demanding weekend", she added. "At the moment I have climbed the overall classification up to 15th place, I am sixth in the Legend trophy and first in the lady trophy."
"The SpeedHouse team was truly impeccable in managing such variable and demanding conditions, and the advice from Lucas Lasserre - driver and team owner - were crucial, especially for the wet race".
"I had never driven in these years in such prohibitive conditions, with so much water for the whole race, and it was certainly an opportunity to learn how to manage the car - without pushing over the limit and potentially making costly mistakes."
The next round of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will also serve as the regular season finale and will take place at Oschersleben, a new circuit to many drivers, on the weekend of 23rd/24th September.