Ghirelli and Linster tops Free Practice in Valencia opener

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Bart Dehaese


The Italian and the Luxembourger set the fastest Free Practice times in Spain – Ghirelli started his 2024 EuroNASCAR PRO campaign on top, Linster led a Hendriks Motorsport 1-2 in EuroNASCAR 2

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series shifts into gear with the opening round of the 2024 season, the NASCAR GP Spain at Circuit Ricardo Tormo. The 4.005 kilometer long track located in the heart of Valencia has long hosted the first round of the series and this year will be no different. Preceded by an exciting Prologue and Club Challenge sessions, the drivers from EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2 took to the track for their first Free Practice of the year. After four sessions, Vittorio Ghirelli and Gil Linster were the fastest in the combined results for their respective divisions.

The NASCAR GP Spain continues its festivity theme as the 2024 event is held as part of the track’s 25th anniversary. Circuit Ricardo Tormo promises to continue the thrilling and action packed event that has been synonymous with the track ever since it was introduced to the EuroNASCAR schedule in 2012. With plenty of top contenders entered across both divisions, the 2024 season is shaping up to be one to remember.

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

EuroNASCAR PRO: Vittorio Ghirelli starts PK Carsport journey on top

The 2023 season was a successful year for Vittorio Ghirelli, who scored two victories and finished third in the overall standings. The Italian wants to continue the momentum by joining PK Carsport in the off-season to fulfill his title ambitions. The first Free Practice sessions of the year showed that Ghirelli and PK were prepared after they topped the combined timesheets with a time of 1:40.779.

Only 0.069 seconds separated Ghirelli from another driver who also had a successful 2023: Paul Jouffreau, who was also the fastest Junior Trophy driver. The 20-year old is the reigning EuroNASCAR 2 champion and had already won two races in EuroNASCAR PRO. With a full season campaign scheduled, the Frenchman is ready to secure more victories for RDV Competition. Third was Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, the only other driver to set a lap time under 1:41. Bleekemolen used new Hoosier tires in the second session to match Ghirelli and Jouffreau’s performance.

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Nina Weinbrenner

Bremotion’s Tobias Dauenhauer and defending champion Gianmarco Ercoli completed the top-5 ahead of Fabrizio Armetta. After scoring his first podium in 2023, Armetta’s pace showed that the speed that the #55 The Club Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro had in Prologue was not a fluke. Marc Goossens was seventh ahead of Liam Hezemans, second place in the Junior Trophy. The Challenger Trophy classification for elite amateur drivers was led by Race Art Technology’s Thomas Toffel in ninth place.

Martin Doubek completed the top-10 positions ahead of Vladimiros Tziortzis, the pole sitter from 2023. Thomas Dombrowski in 15th was the third fastest in Junior Trophy while Riccardo Romagnoli and Max Lanza closed out the top-3 in Challenger Trophy.

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

EuroNASCAR 2: Gil Linster leads a Hendriks 1-2

Gil Linster has been a trending name in the world of EuroNASCAR ever since his impressive outing in NASCAR’s ARCA Menards Series at Daytona. The Luxembourger returned to Hendriks Motorsport for a second season in EuroNASCAR and started off his 2024 campaign with a top result. With a time of 1:41.358, Linster led teammate and 2021 EuroNASCAR 2 champion Martin Doubek to secure a 1-2 finish for the Dutch team led by Roy Hendriks.

Patrick Schober began his story in RDV Competition with a third place result, 0.263 seconds behind the Hendriks duo. Melvin de Groot aims to become a championship contender in 2024 and proved that he’s ready to do so after topping the Legend Trophy for drivers aged 40 and above. He also finished in fourth place ahead of Thomas Toffel, who wants to secure another podium finish onboard the #34 Race Art Technology Chevrolet Camaro.

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Nina Weinbrenner

Thomas Dombrowski was ahead of Kenko Miura and Claudio Cappelli, both of whom completed the top-3 for Legend Trophy. Jack Davidson had to sit out the first session following an engine failure in Club Challenge, but the Scotsman was able to get some important experience in the second session and finished ninth overall. Despite not taking part in the final Practice, Thomas Krasonis’ time was enough to round out the top-10 combined classifications.

He finished ahead of Marko Stipp Motorsport teammate Victor Neumann, who was the fastest in Rookie Trophy. Neumann is set to do the double duty on his first full campaign in EuroNASCAR. The Frenchman finished ahead of Simone Giussani and Julien Rehberg with only half a second separating the top-3 rookies. Arianna Casoli was the fastest in the Lady Trophy in 24th place.

Action from the 2024 NASCAR GP Spain at Circuit Ricardo Tormo will be resumed on Saturday with the first Qualifying and Races of the year. All qualifying sessions and races from the 2024 season will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel and numerous TV channels around the world.

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