2021 ENES SEASON // Reigning ENES Champion Andre Castro wins inaugural virtual race at Hockenheimring
- Guillaume Deflandre and Tobias Dauenhauer separated by 6 points ahead of season finale
Reigning EuroNASCAR Esports champion Andre Castro scored his first win of the 2021 virtual European NASCAR championship for DF1 Racing. The American, who made his second appearance in Round 4, put up a dominant performance to beat Hendriks Motorsport’s Tobias Dauenhauer in the inaugural race at virtual Hockenheimring on iRacing.
Another strong run by Philipp Bereswill put the track’s representative on the lowest step of the podium. After tangling in the last lap, Guillaume Deflandre and Dauenhauer are now separated by just 6 points ahead of the double-points Circuit Zolder Final.
Castro grabbed the Pole Position in Qualifying and thus led the field in the first of two 10-minute Heats at the legendary home of the real-life NASCAR GP Germany. After 6 laps, the driver of the #122 Chevrolet Camaro sped to victory ahead of two-time 2021 ENES race winner Deflandre, who crossed the line 2.801 seconds behind than Castro. RDV Competition’s Ulysse Delsaux followed in third.
The second Heat was a duplicate of the first one: Tobias Dauenhauer made a good start from Pole Position and kept the lead in turn 1. Within the 10 minutes, the German built a 2.815-second lead on the #479 American Fan Fest Camaro of Bereswill, while SpeedHouse’s Paul Jouffreau ended up third.
In the main race, Castro was unbeatable. The American took advantage of the Pole Position and drove away from his competitors right away. 30 minutes and 17 laps later, the DF1 Racing driver was 11.404 seconds ahead of second place under the checkered flag.
The battle for second, on the other hand, was as tense as ever. Deflandre held the position for the whole race but struggled with his tires as Dauenhauer and Bereswill put pressure on him. In the last lap, a contact between Dauenhauer and Deflandre opened the door for both German drivers. Dauenhauer was second ahead of Bereswill, while Deflandre had to settle for fourth.
DF1 Racing’s Simon Pilate scored his first top-5 result in the 2021 ENES season with a solid race. Jouffreau followed in sixth ahead of Henri Tuomaala. Another strong run by Stefano Guastaveglie, who was the best driver among the team members and started 17th on the grid, brought him the eighth place right in front of Santtu Vuoksenturja and Naveh Talor, who closed the top-10.
The championship battle will culminate at the iconic Circuit Zolder – the traditional home of the real-life NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Finals. Deflandre leads Dauenhauer by 6 points, while Pilate will try to fill a 29-point gap to hunt down the pair. The last race of the 2021 ENES season will take place on April 6 at 8:30 pm CEST. The Qualifying, all Heats and the Main race will be streamed live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitch profile as well as on Motorsport.tv.
Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Guillaume Hesnault