The NASCAR Wellin Euro Series qualifying began on Saturday morning at the legendary Circuit Ricardo Tormo under the blazing Spanish sun. Two exciting qualifying sessions delivered the first surprises of the 2022 NWES season as Alexander Graf took the first pole award of his career at EuroNASCAR PRO at the wheel of the #64 Speedhouse Chevrolet Camaro. At EuroNASCAR 2, Vladimiros Tzortzis burned an amazing lap on the asphalt to finish second in his football career.
EuroNASCAR PRO: The Swede is back!
After a forced break in 2020 and a part-time program in 2021, Graff is back at EuroNASCAR PRO with Speedhouse in an exceptional way. The Swede finished first after climbing into the top ten drivers’ Superpole after the 15-minute Q1 session. The 35-year-old then clocked 1:41,803 laps to defeat CAAL Racing’s Nicolo Rocca by 0.105sec. Gianmarco Ercoli finished third, with a 0.291 difference in first place.
EuroNASCAR PRO newcomer Tobias Dauenhauer finished fourth in the overall standings. The EuroNASCAR 2 runner-up was the fastest in the first quarter and had only one strategy in the Superpole: “Flatout!” He was followed by German Friedrich Gabellon in the RDV #3 EuroNASCAR FJ competition, who finished fifth in the standings. Marco Steppe Motorsport’s Roman Ianeta finished sixth, ahead of Marc Goossens and Sebastian Blekemollen. Giorgio Maggi was the second fastest junior driver in ninth, while Patrick Limari’s provisional lap was canceled due to track limit violations.
“That’s cool, it’s a comeback for me at EuroNASCAR and it’s also my brother’s birthday today so he just got a little gift here!” Said Graf ecstatic after the session. “I started really well, I didn’t know I was first before I got to the pits. I heard Lucas [Lasserre] Say P1 or something and I was like “no no no” but everyone was really happy in the pit box and that’s amazing! Thanks to all the guys at Speedhouse, they did a great job with the car.”
“You couldn’t have started better in fact, yesterday I learned two things in testing that I need to improve my driving style so I tried to adapt it in qualifying and it went well! Lucas is one of the oldest friends in EuroNASCAR for me so it’s amazing to be With the team, it’s a really familiar feeling and I like him a lot.”
Leonardo Colavita completed third in the Junior Trophy in 11th place, followed by EuroNASCAR 2 champion Martin Dubic, who topped the Challenger Cup standings. He overtook Fabrizio Ermita for 13th with Claudio Capelli taking third for 15th. Three-times NWES Champion Alon’s Day will start only from 16 after his best lap time was canceled in the first quarter. The Israeli didn’t have much time to improve due to a late red flag period triggered by the retirements of Thomas Krasonis and Ian Eric Waden, with Vittorio Guerelli also having problems earlier in the session that shut him off early in the first quarter.
Urnaskar 2: The Second Pole of Tzyortzis
After leading Grid to the green flag at Circuit Zolder in 2021, Tziortzis did it again! The Cypriot at #5 Academy Motorsport/Alex Caffee Motorsport EuroNASCAR FJ burned an amazing lap in cooking asphalt at Circuit Ricardo Tormo. The 25-year-old scored the track in a super fast lap time of 1:41.997, thus pushing YouTube star and rising CAAL Racing Alberto Nasca off the throne. The latter was leading the standings in the first part of the 20-minute session before Tziotzis beat him by 0.460 seconds.
“First of all, this is my favorite track so I was expecting us to have a good lap, so we put it all together this weekend,” said Tzjurtzis happily. “We’re going well so far, so I’m very optimistic about that, we’re fast, we worked hard with the team on the last pre-season test in Cremona and Maggioni, so we’re in good shape and I’m happy for all the team members who worked so hard to be here today.”
“With Patrick we have similar needs for the car, so we worked hard in the last two pre-season tests. We have the same feelings in the car, so the most important thing for a driver sharing the car is to have a good teammate like Patrick. Of course we have to start very well from The start and that we continue to have good stability during the laps, which is the most important thing during the races.”
With Nasca approaching the front row in their first EuroNASCAR 2 race, the Italian also topped the Rookie Trophy classification. Defending champion Dubik finished third, 0.594 seconds off pole, while Jill Leinster and former EuroNASCAR 2 champion Ulysse Delsau finished fifth. Colavita ended up sixth ahead of Loris Heismans’ younger brother, Liam Heismans, who had a solid performance on his first EuroNASCAR outing.
Alfredo Di Matteo finished eighth to close in third in the Rookie Cup competition, ahead of returns Christian Malshark and Francesco Garisto from the European Football Championship. Marko Stipp Motorsport’s Evgen Sokolovsky was the fastest Legend Trophy driver in 11th place. The Ukrainian beat Melvin de Groot in 14th and teammate Miguel Gomez in 15th. The best female driver in qualifying was Aliya Kolok in 17th, directly ahead of Lolli del Castillo. Alina Loibnegger completed third place in the Lady Trophy at 26th place.
The 2022 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is underway at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain. All races on Saturday and Sunday will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s social media profiles – YouTube, Facebook and Twitch – as well as on Motorsport.tv and more TV channels around the world. The next live broadcast will start at 2:05 PM CEST.