HEUSDEN-ZOLDER, Belgium – It was a perfect weekend for Martin Doubek at the wheel of his No. 7 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang.
The Czech won his second consecutive EuroNASCAR 2 race at Circuit Zolder Sunday and made a big leap in the points standings after sitting out of the season opener in Vallelunga.
For Doubek, who has been racing in EuroNASCAR since 2015, the weekend in Belgium marks his breakthrough in Europe’s official NASCAR series. But it was not an easy win for the 25 year old, who started on wet tyres on a quickly drying track.
Midway through a race highlighted by three cautions, he was put under pressure by a charging Dylan Derdeale on slick tires, but the Belgian who was involved in a restart contact in turn two with Nicholas Risitano that shuffled him down the order with four laps to go.
Doubek took the checkered flag under safety car conditions.
“Yes, I did it again! I’m so happy to be in Victory Lane again after my first NWES win yesterday,” said Doubek. “It was a tough race but I managed to stay at front. It was not easy with the rain tyres on the drying track and the No. 98 was pushing a lot. He was involved in a crash so I was able to keep the first position when the race ended behind the safety car. Thanks to my team for the great car this weekend.”
While Doubek defended his lead, his teammate Vittorio Ghirelli climbed his way up and took advantage of the incident involving Derdaele and Risitano to grab second place on the podium.
Shadow Racing Cars by 42 Racing’s Francesco Garisto was third under the checkered flag and won the race in the Rookie Trophy. After a challenging weekend in Vallelunga, the Italian stepped on the EuroNASCAR 2 podium for the first time in his young career.
Andre Castro, who missed the race on Saturday, started from 20th place and made an incredible comeback right into the top five. The American DF1 Racing driver gained the most positions in the race, earning four bonus points and crossing the finish line in fourth.
Alessandro Brigatti closed the top five in a battered No. 8 Feed Vict Racing Camaro, but was penalized after the race for causing an accident. The penalty demoted the Italian to 11th.
A blissfully happy Arianna Casoli ended up fifth and celebrated her best ever NASCAR Whelen Euro Series finish to date. The Italian also won the Legend Trophy and the Lady Trophy. Despite the crash, Derdaele finished sixth ahead of Simon Pilate, who completed the first full race in his career. The two Belgians also stepped on the Rookie Trophy podium.
Marko Stipp Motorsport’s Evgeny Sokolovsky and Mishumotors’ Eric Quintal were eighth and ninth and closed the Legend Trophy podium. Vladimiros Tziortzis closed the top 10.
Several big names did not make it to the finish line. Nicholas Risitano, Guillaume Dumarey, Andreas Jochimsen and Julia Landauer were all involved in accidents over the course of the 15-lap race.