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Despite the lack of results the Swiss had a solid pace
On September 12-13, Giorgio Maggi traveled to the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season opener at the Autodromo di Vallelunga in Italy. He had great anticipation and high hopes for the kick-off event. The #18 Ford Mustang was well prepared by Hendriks Motorsport, which is why the Swiss driver started the first races of the 2020 season with high goals. However, the 22-year-old struggled with some issues that made a top result impossible. The pace of the No. 18 Ford Mustang was solid in practice and Maggi is building on this.
In practice the car of the Dutch top team was still running like on rails. On used tires Maggi was just two tenths slower than his teammate and NWES champion Loris Hezemans. In qualifying, however, the performance suddenly collapsed and Maggi could no longer keep up with the pace of the top drivers in the field. In his first qualifying session in the EuroNASCAR PRO championship for the European NASCAR elite, the Swiss driver finished 13th.
Nevertheless, the goal was to finish in the top 10 in the 18-lap race. After a strong start Maggi made up important positions, but he quickly reached the limit of his Mustang. He said: “Especially in the left turns I fought with understeering.” In a duel there was a contact with an opponent, so Maggi spun. He also had to come to the pits with a puncture. In the end, he finished 15th, which was enough for third place in the Junior Trophy for drivers under 25 years of age.
“I couldn’t see my competitor because I lost my right-hand side mirror,” explained the Swiss driver in the colors of Hendriks Motorsport. “Unfortunately, because of the unscheduled pit stop and the incident, there was simply no more to achieve.”
Maggi started the second round of the EuroNASCAR PRO championship from 13th place. But again the Swiss didn’t manage to make his mark on the race. “The start was a chaos,” said Maggi. “There was a lot of dust in front of me, so I could hardly see anything. When a car suddenly appeared in front of me, I was able to turn to the grass at the last second. But that cost me a lot of positions.”
Maggi made up spots again during the race, but again struggled with a tight car. For the Swiss driver, a twelfth place and thus third place in the Junior Trophy was the result. “Nevertheless, I’m not satisfied with the pace, we were far away from the actual potential,” the 22-year-old concluded.
Maggi will now check off the season opener to concentrate on the next round at Circuit Zolder in Belgium. The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series race weekend will take place on October 3-4 in the forests of Limburg, where Maggi has claimed two strong second places in 2019.