Longin back in force, Tziortzis wins the first pole position of the NWES on the Zolder circuit
The 2021 Belgian NASCAR GP at the Zolder circuit started with two big surprises: in EuroNASCAR PRO, returning ace Stienes Longin took pole position with a phenomenal lap, while in EuroNASCAR 2, Vladimiros Tziortzis scored his first NWES pole position in an exciting session with a late dash.
EuroNASCAR PRO: Longin is back in force!
Stienes Longin returned to the EuroNASCAR PRO Championship in perfect form. After missing the entire 2021 season, the Belgian seized a dominant pole position with an exceptional lap of 1: 36.855 halfway through the qualifying session on his home track. Longin will pick up his long-standing rivalry with Alon Day exactly where he left off as both riders start from the front row for Round 9 of EuroNASCAR PRO.
EURONASCAR PRO RESULTS: FIRST PRACTICE | FINAL PRACTICE | QUALIFICATION
“It was a pleasure to come back to EuroNASCAR with the Pole Position,” said the # 11 Chevrolet PK Carsport driver, who won his second career Pole Award. “It’s my home track and we’ve done a lot of racing here this year so I know every inch of it. We used the 2020 setup and it worked well from the start. It’s nice to be back and I hope for a good race later today.
Day and his # 88 CAAL Racing Camaro were late to the party in the 30-minute session, leaving the pit lane with less than 10 minutes to go, but in the 5 laps he completed the 6-time winner de Zolder climbed to second place, 0.668 seconds behind Longin.
The positions change quickly in the last minutes of qualifying and it is Lucas Lasserre who takes third place. The French Speedhouse rider was only 0.095 seconds slower than Day and proved his team are on track to claim first place in EuroNASCAR. Developing the car in the 2021 NWES season has been key for Lasserre to improve his qualifying and racing pace over the year. In Zolder, the Frenchman is trying to overtake the fifth place he won in 2018.
Vittorio Ghirelli, who is the driver who could benefit most from the absence of championship leader Loris Hezemans, finished fourth. The Italian at the wheel of the # 50 Ford Mustang Hendriks Motorsport completed a lap in 1: 37.753 and will start alongside Lasserre in the second row. CAAL Racing’s comeback Marc Goossens closed the top-5 while teammate and title contender Gianmarco Ercoli finished sixth. The Italian has also taken the lead in the Junior Trophy standings and hopes to gain some places in EuroNASCAR PRO Round 9 which will start at 2:00 p.m. CET.
Nicolo Rocca of DF1 Racing follows in seventh position ahead of Patrick Lemarie, Martin Doubek and Giorgio Maggi, who complete the top 10. Pierre Combot of Marko Stipp Motorsport was the fastest driver in the Challenger Trophy in eleventh. On his NWES debut, the French edged Davide Dallara by 0.121 seconds. Francesco Sini will start last due to technical problems with his No.12 Chevrolet Camaro Solaris Motorsport. The team had to change engines late at night so they had to tweak the car to get back to the usual pace.
EuroNASCAR 2: First pole position for Vladimiros Tziortzis
For the first time in his career, Vladimiros Tziortzis won the Pole Award for the EuroNASCAR 2 championship. The Cypriot clocked the 4 km Zolder Circuit in 1: 37.811 minutes with an excellent lap at the end of the session. Academy Motorsport / Alex Caffi Motorsport rider pushed Not Only Motorsport’s Naveh Talor from the throne with less than 3 minutes to go. Tziortzis will lead the 24-car peloton in the first round of EuroNASCAR 2 Round 9 at 4:50 pm CET.
EURONASCAR 2 RESULTS: FIRST PRACTICE | FINAL PRACTICE | QUALIFICATION
“I’m really happy to have landed my first EuroNASCAR Pole Position,” said Tziortzis, who also landed the very first Pole Position for Academy Motorsport / Alex Caffi Motorsport and the very first for a Cypriot in NWES. “I did the perfect lap at the end of the session and put the car in first place. The most important part of the weekend is of course the races, so I will try to keep the consistency which is the key to success. I want to stay out of trouble and have an amazing race today.
Talor, who already imagined himself holding the Pole Award for the first time in his career, was dropped to second place in the closing stages of the 30-minute session. The Israeli was 0.111 seconds slower than Tziortzis and referred to the “most disappointing second place of his career”. While Talor and Tziortzis get along very well in the paddock, the Not Only Motorsport driver congratulated his pal for having signed the Pole Position at Circuit Zolder.
Martin Doubek (Hendriks Motorsport) finished third behind the wheel of the # 7 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang. The Czech, who won both races in Belgium in 2020, was 0.498 seconds behind Tziotzis but kept CAAL Racing’s Advait Deodhar at bay. The leader of the championship, the German Tobias Dauenhauer, completed the top 5 and must therefore start right in the middle of the field, when EuroNASCAR 2 Round 9 turns green.
Leevi Lintukanto of DF1 Racing finished sixth in the Rookie Trophy standings. The fastest rider in the Legend Trophy was Melvin de Groot of Team Bleekemolen, seventh. Max Lanza followed in eighth position ahead of Alberto Panebianco and Simon Pilate, who completed the top-10. Arianna Casoli defeated Alina Loibnegger in the Lady Trophy race.
Both races on Saturday will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR platforms – YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, NWES App – and Motorsport.tv. EuroNASCAR PRO Round 9 will turn green at 2:00 p.m. CET, while EuroNASCAR 2 race will start at 4:50 p.m. CET.