A short report about our first weekend in the Nascar Whelen Euro series with Loris Hezemans and Rik Ceyssens on Circuit Ricardo Tormo (ES)
From April 13th until April 15th we competed for the first time in the Nascar Whelen Euro series.
We arrived on Circuit Ricardo Tormo (Valencia) on Wednesday to do all the preparation for the first practice sessions on Thursday.
We started off with the Private test sessions with Loris Hezemans (elite 1) behind the wheel. We were very fast from the start.
Both drivers Loris and Rik Ceyssens (Elite 2) got their time on track to get used to the car, track and conditions.
After some small adjustments in setup the lap times looked very promising.
On friday we had the official test sessions.
With loris kicking off the test sessions with a P5 in the first session, best lap time 01:41,775 , only 3 tenths behind leader Alon Day ( Caal Racing).
Up next was Rik in the Elite 2 division. Rik needed to learn the track a bit more and decided to take it easy and make progress during the weekend. in which he did great. Starting off his first practice session on P20 timing 01:49,581.
For the second test sessions there where some minor adjustments to improve the setup a little bit, With result!
Loris timed a 01:40,506 lap for P2 only 19 hundreds behind Alon Day.
Rik made good progress and took over 2 seconds from his first practice lap time with a 01:47,241 as best lap.
Qualifying and race day. Starting off with Elite 1 Qualifying and superpole.
Loris was ready to go on track and waiting on the end in pit lane when the gearbox got stuck in between 2 gears because a small pebble stuck in the shifting mechanism.
With the quick work from the team we managed to get it cleared and ready for qualifying. Loris had on 2 laps to do his magic but managed to make in into superpole.
In the superpole loris got up to P10 ( Laptime: 01:40,746). that would be his starting position for the Saturday race. for the sunday race the line-up is determined on Lap times of the Saturday race.
Thumbs up for the Nascar organisation for such a close competition with the top 11 spots within 1 second.
Elite 2 qualifying started later on the day with Rik behind the wheel.
Rik again made good improvements and made it up to P19 for his qualifying session. and 2nd in the Legend throphy standing.
1st Race - Elite 1 - Loris
This can be a very short report, Loris came from 10th position and made it up to P6 after 6 laps when the gearbox decided to call it a day.
1st race - Elite 2 - Rik
Rik started from P19 in his heat after 2 laps he got hit by the #90 car of Pedro bonnet ending his race early after only 2 laps with a flat tire and too much damage to continue.
2nd Race - Elite 2 - Rik
With a lot of commitment after his DNF the day before rik started the race from the back of the field.
Obviously he was driven for a good result after the bad luck on Saturday. and that was good to be seen. he fought his way up to 14th Position, which gave him his first podium of the season as that was good for 2nd spot in the Legend trophy behind Belgium's Jerry de Weerdt.
2nd Race - Elite 1 - Loris
Loris started the race from P4 after driving 5th fastest on Saturday and Anthony Kumpen receiving a penalty.
What a race it was and could've been. Loris was flying and it looked like he was heading to a certain win.
Unfortunately there was some contact with Marc Goossens after which the race directors decided to give Loris a drive trough penalty.
This ruined Loris' race.
Of course there was a lot of disappointment as we should've won this race as a rookie team for the series.
I think looking to our overall performance during the weekend we can look forward to a potential great season in the Nascar Whelen Euro Series.
We thank the Nascar Whelen Euro Series for their Warm welcome and good organisation of the event and we are looking forward to the next event in Franciacorta (Italy) for a new challenge!