Manami Kobayashi scores victory at Euro NASCAR debut
It was a female drivers 1-2 in the German round of the Euro NASCAR in Hockenheim, as Japanese Manami Kobayashi won at series debut by 0.001 over Alina Loibnegger.
Manami Kobayashi and Alina Loibnegger conquered the two top podium spots of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Elite Club division and made the Hockenheim round one to remember for motorsport fans.
The Japanese lady came to the Hockenheimring with previous GT and touring cars experiences: she thus made her historical and triumphal NASCAR Euro Series debut by winning by just 0.001 seconds over the more experienced #66 Dextwet-df1 racing Chevrolet Camaro driver Alina Loibnegger.
Kobayashi, driving for Alex Caffi Motorsport, prevailed over her rivals after a close and intense battle for the best lap time in the regularity based division.
"It was an amazing experience, in the beginning I had a lot of respect for the car. It was hard to handle because of the power, but after some laps my respect turned into excitement. I'm very happy about my first win in the Elite Club Division" - said the race winner after her achievement.
Austrian Alina Loibnegger came into the Hockenheim weekend after a touring car test at this very circuit earlier this year, and was skilled enough to convert her experience into her first podium finish at the wheel of a NWES car.
"I'm so happy about this second place, I really cannot stop smiling. I did a test here in Hockenheim in a touring car before, which was a lot of fun, but driving a Euro Nascar car here at this track is completely a different world. The old-school feeling is amazing and a unique experience for a race car driver." - she commented.
Alina's teammate Alan Mosqueron completed the podium, with Giovanni Triore ending in fourth position and increasing his championship leadership over Andreas Kuchelbacher, who was out of the race for a mechanical problem. Triore now sits on top of the standings with eight points of advantage from Kuchelbacher and Mosqueron.
The last round of the series that will crown the 2019 Champion will be held at Zolder, Belgium, on 5th-6th October.
Ph credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard