The Swiss finished a strong sixth in Sunday’s race
Giorgio Maggi made it two wins at the top of the Junior Trophy standings in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series regular season finale. The Swiss finished in the top 10 in each of the two EuroNASCAR PRO races and topped the special classification for racer drivers up to and including the age of 25 in both rounds. Ahead of the Finals at Italy’s Autodromo di Vallelunga on October 30-31, the race driver from Hergiswil is ninth overall and second in the Junior Trophy.
Maggi did not start the race weekend perfectly because his Ford Mustang from Hendriks Motorsport was not fast enough in Free Practice to keep up with the leaders. As a result, the top team from the Netherlands worked with the 23-year-old late into the night to fine-tune the setup in order to be competitive in Qualifying. Work on the #18 car continued during the 30-minute session and by half-time Maggi was able to keep up with the best times at the front. As his best laps were cancelled due to track limits, he was fast enough for tenth place.
In the first race, Maggi got off to a good start, which is why he stayed in the top 10. Due to an accident, the safety car had to come onto the track early on, which is why there was a restart. The Swiss mastered this perfectly as well: he immediately made up two places in the first corner and thus moved up to eighth place. However, he then had to let the competition get past again in turn 2 because his gearbox had issues. He then moved up to seventh place and secured victory in the Junior Trophy.
The car was fast – as Maggi showed in the first race with the fifth fastest lap time in the field. Accordingly, the driver from Hergiswil was allowed to start Sunday’s race from fifth place. He made up one place at the start and then fought for third place. As Maggi turned into the chicane, his rival behind him shot into a gap late, so the Hendriks driver had to cut the chicane short because there was no room left. As a result, Maggi took over third position and fought for second place. However, race control sent him back one place because of the situation in the chicane.
“During the race I disagreed, but race control has a better overview and knows what they are doing,” Maggi said. “Because of the fight for second place, my brakes overheated and I couldn’t attack properly. Then in the Villeneuve chicane I had brake failure. I had to pump the pedal several times to get brake pressure. Since I had to drive through gravel, I dropped back to sixth place. Since the brakes were at the limit, I couldn’t attack anymore.”
Although a top 5 result would certainly have been possible in the second race, Maggi was pleased with his second Junior Trophy win in Belgium. “We had our problems, but we tried a lot and improved the car a lot,” concluded the 23-year-old. “The car ran well in the second race, but the brakes overheated, which was due to the track layout. I still won the Junior Trophy twice, which I’m very happy about.”
The final race of the 2021 EuroNASCAR season will be held October 30-31 at Autodromo di Vallelunga in Italy. “I’m confident for the next race. If everything comes together, we will be able to be up front. Unfortunately, we haven’t had much luck this season, but I still have a good feeling in the car,” said Maggi’s assessment ahead of the grand finale near Rome.