In the second EuroNASCAR weekend of the shortened 2020 season, Julia Landauer and Arianna Casoli claimed their best ever series results in a rainy Zolder, as both the ladies on the grid recorded top-5 finishes.
Last weekend, the Zolder Circuit hosted the second seasonal event of the EuroNASCAR series, a championship that has increasingly grown in popularity in Europe thanks to its fan-friendly approach and very competitive line-ups. This year, despite obviously missing its colourful fans of stockcar, the European division of NASCAR has nonetheless put together an interesting shortened calendar and has attracted some notable drivers, such as 1997 F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve. Among them, two ladies are on the gird this year: series veteran Arianna Casoli and American new entry Julia Landauer.
In very challenging mixed weather conditions, the Zolder double-header saw one dominant winner in the EuroNascar2 class - Czech racer Martin Doubek.
After a dominant Saturday's race started from pole and by commanding from lights to chequered flag, the #7 Hendriks Motorsport driver doubled-up by claiming victory also in Sunday's round, where a caution greatly influenced the racing action.
Dylan Derdaele was the only driver able to put pressure on the class leader, but a contact that involved him and Nicholas Risitano - the third classified in Saturday's race - forced the Belgian to drop down at the restart and allowed Martin Doubek to comfortably cross the finish line under the Safety Car, earning his second career victory in the series after a perfect weekend.
Taking advantage from the incident ahead, it was other Hendriks Motorsport driver, Vittorio Ghirelli, who finish second, while Shadow Racing driver Francesco Garisto completed the podium and topped the the Rookie Trophy.
A deserved mention goes out to another protagonist of Sunday's race, as Italian Andre Castro conquered a fourth place starting from the last grid position.
After a challenging qualifying session, Arianna Casoli was able to gain some positions in Race 1 and ended P15, but then she could claim her career best Nascar EuroSeries result in the second race when she was an impressive fifth place across the line, after a penalty inflicted to Alessandro Brigatti for causing the collision with Landauer, dropped the Italian to 11th.
Casoli's fifth place also means that the always cheerful Caal racing driver could secure both the Legend Trophy and Lady Trophy victory.
"This is the best feeling ever! I can not believe thatIi was so in front of the group, I had very good restarts and I defended my position. I stayed away from the mess in front of me. It was so great, I love this track! " - were Arianna Casoli's words after her best EuroNASCAR weekend to date.
Julia Landauer started the Belgian weekend with a very positive fourth position in the qualifying session. The American battled for the top five in Saturday's race, where she was able to finish fifth, also conquering her best series result after her debut a couple of weeks ago in Vallelunga, Italy.
"I feel a lot better than I did in Italy, it was unfortunate to have a starting penalty but I just tried to stay smart and consistent, let other people make the mistakes and we came up with a top five and a good starting spot for tomorrow , so I'm really happy." - she commented on Saturday.
"The goal for tomorrow is to get a podium, I would love to get a win, I know there's competition but where I'm starting I want to run a smart fast race and to get on the podium for the overall class, that would be great."
Unfortunately, it was a tougher race 2 for the PK Motorsports driver, who saw her Race 2 coming to a premature end after a lap 1 contact with Alessandro Brigatti - who was later handed a 5-second time penalty for causing an avoidable collision. Landauer, starting from fourth on the grid, had a great rolling start after the Safety Car had returned to the pits and, on tricky conditions, she had already moved up to third and was battling for second with fellow PK Carsport's Guillaume Dumarey before being pushed out and in the gravel by Brigatti.
Landauer will now look to the next rounds of the series with high expectations after showing great pace in both qualifying and Race 1.
"Racing has the highest highs and lowest lows." - she wrote. "We had a strong day on Saturday with a top-5 finish, then got crashed into on the first lap on Sunday, ending my race."
"PK Carsport did a great job! The car was great in very challenging conditions. I’m really enjoying this series, and am having a blast learning what this car can do. Onto the next one!"
The Czech Autodrom of Most will host Round 5 and 6 of the EuroNascar 2 championship on November 14th-15th.