Hendriks Motorsport keeps dominating the 2019 edition of the NASCAR GP Germany. After Loris Hezemans’ win in the ELITE 1 Division, Giorgio Maggi drove the #50 Ford Mustang to Victory Lane again in the ELITE 2 Division. The Swiss defeated four-time winner Lasse Soerensen in a tight battle for the lead and widened his champion lead on the Dane, while Vittorio Ghirelli’s championship dreams were shattered in the first corner.
Maggi started from the pole but fell back to second behind NWES newcomer Hugo De Sadeleer on an early restart after a first-lap crash triggered the only caution of the race. The Swiss was smart in his reaction, bode his time and took advantage of a small mistake by his fellow countryman a few laps later to grab the lead back. Soerensen was also able to sneak his way past De Sadeleer and challenged Maggi to a long side-by-side battle, but the Dexwet-Df1 Racing driver couldn’t complete the pass and it was Maggi who took the third win of his rookie season.
“It was a perfect day for the whole Hendriks Motorsport team,” said Maggi, who now leads Soerensen by 25 points. “We grabbed pole positions and wins in both divisions here at the Hockenheimring. I was a little bit lucky to get the lead back after I lost it during the restart. The whole weekend I was struggling in the first corner. Afterwards I had some nice fights with Lasse and Hugo, which was a lot of fun. I’m really happy to be the winner.”
Soerensen took second and showed his title ambitions in every one of the 16 laps of the race. The Dane tried it all to overtake Maggi, but never managed to put the nose of his Camaro ahead of the championship leader. De Sadeleer managed to grab his first ever NWES podium by finishing third at the wheel of the #88 Racing Engineering Ford Mustang and the Rookie Trophy podium mirrored the overall top-3.
“That was a really good race with Giorgio and we had some really good battles,” said Soerensen, who is now second in the overall standings. “I had a good restart, but I think Giorgio’s tire pressures were a little bit lower than mine and that’s why he was faster than me in the end of the race. My tires dropped a little bit, but that’s something we can work on for tomorrow and then we’ll see an even better race for sure.”
De Sadeleer commented about his NWES debut: “It was a great experience. Racing Engineering invited me at the very last minute to race here and that’s why I had no time to learn about the car before this weekend. It’s not easy to control when you are used to ABS and other electronics aids in a GT3 car, but it has been an interesting lesson and I’ve learned a lot. It was also my first ever race using a shift stick and I adapted my left-foot braking. Because of that, I’m really happy with the result.”
The very first corner of the race was fatal for Vittorio Ghirelli’s title ambitions. The Italian spun the tires of his #24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro and was collected by Andre Castro on the the #46 Chevrolet Camaro. Both suffered heavy damage to their cars and were forced to retire. Deodhar was also involved in the accident but the Indian was able to continue in his #31 CAAL Racing Chevrolet.
Jesse Vartiainen ended up fourth for Alex Caffi Motorsports grabbing his best result of the season. Nicholas Risitano was sixth in his #8 Racers Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro ahead of Martin Doubek and 16-year-old Ben Creanor. American NASCAR driver Myatt Snider ended up ninth in his Hockenheimring debut ahead of Advait Deodhar, who came back to close top-10.
Memphis Racing’s Ian Eric Waden grabbed his fourth win of the year in the Legend Trophy by finishing 13th right ahead of his closest competitor Michael Bleekemolen on the #69 Ford Mustang. Mishumotor’s Mirco Schultis rounded out the podium for drivers aged 40 and older. Arianna Casoli brought home the Lady Trophy win.
The ELITE 2 Semi Final 2 at the Hockenheimring will go green on Sunday at 10:35 am CEST. All races will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the NWES Facebook and YouTube page, Motorsport.tv and a vast network of social media pages and websites from around the world.
Photo Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard