Despite some problems during the weekend, also the second car with #23 of the Finnish duo Henri Tuomaala and Ian Eric Wadén provided the Swedish team of Memphis Racing with an successful debut of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in the Czech Republic.
As the Autodrom Most was the only new track in th calendar of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, it was the great unknown for most of the teams and drivers. “It’s nice that the track is new for almost everybody. For the first time, we all have the same level, everybody has to learn”, said Henri Tuomaala in an interview with Threewide. “I like the track a lot. It’s pretty fast, but you also have tight turns. I like that.”
Already in the qualifying of the Elite 1 Tuomaala was able to prove that Most is a track for him. He had the 9th fastest time and qualified for the very first time this season for the SuperPole. He scarcely missed the Top10 in the SuperPole with P11. In the first race on saturday, he could improve and gain some spots. In the end he finished 8th just in front of his swedish teammate Alexander Graff with the #77. “My race was pretty well. For the first time this season I finished in the Top10, which was our aim until the end of the first half of the season. Now we already achieved that and can build on that for the second half of the season”, Tuomaala said pleased with P8, which also meant another victory in the Challenger Trophy.
The saturday was not that successful for Tuomaala’s teammate Ian Eric Wadén, who came to Most as the leader of the Legends Trophy in the Elite 2 division. Although he achieved his best qualifying with P18, he couldn’t finish in race 1 due to a puncture. The first fear that also car #23 could have an engine problem luckily proved wrong for the team. Wadén was classified on P18 and was at least able to gain some points for the Legends Trophy.
The fastest lap in race 1 put Henri Tuomaala on P14 for the race on sunday. “My starting position tomorrow is a bit worse than today was, but I think that our car is good enough for another Top10-finish”, said Tuomaala confidently. “For me personally, the heat is no issue, but the cars don’t really like it. It’s especially hard for the brakes. But I think it won’t be an issue.”
As the field was pretty close at the start, there was not much space in the first chicane. Tuomaala wasn’t able to avoid a collision with Sebastiaan Bleekemolen in the #69 and damaged his front. In the beginning of the race he was still fast, but the longer the race lasted, the slower his car became. Tuomaala missed the Top10 by finishing on P12, but managed to bring home another victory in the Challenger Trophy and extend his lead in the Trophy.
After his failure in race 1 of the Elite 2 division the starting position in race 2 was relatively bad for Ian Eric Wadén. He started from P20 only, but was able to get around the collisions in the first chicane. The longer the race lasted, the more spots he gained. In the end he finished on P12, which equally was his third victory in the Legends Trophy this season. In the overall standings he is now one point behind Mirco Schultis, the new leader of the Legends Trophy.
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