The Swiss clinched an eighth and a fourth place at the Indy Circuit
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series recently visited the 1.94-kilometer Indy Circuit at Brands Hatch in Great Britain. The popular American SpeedFest, which normally attracts up to 60,000 spectators to the track, welcomed as many as 4,000 fans per day on the grandstands due to the coronavirus pandemic. Giorgio Maggi enjoyed racing in front of a crowd again and showed an upward trend in the 2021 EuroNASCAR PRO season.
The 23-year-old started first in the free practice sessions to optimize the car settings of his Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang. At the wheel of the #18 car, the Swiss driver took a strong third and a solid fifth place in the practice sessions. This was a good start into the weekend for the Swiss, who had the goal of attacking the top of the European NASCAR elite.
“The practice sessions were actually quite uneventful, as we simply tried different setups for the car,” said the race driver from Hergiswil. “I wasn’t one hundred percent happy with the setup, but I felt quite comfortable on the track. The results were good and promising, although in the EuroNASCAR PRO Championship it’s difficult to classify the times in free practice.”
Qualifying was the first time that it was all about the action: all drivers were on new slicks, so the real strength of the competition and the Hendriks Mustang now became apparent. Although the car set-up was not yet perfect for Maggi, he went into the 30-minute qualifying session, which determined the starting grid for the first race, with plenty of motivation. Maggi ended up in tenth place, which was not very positive for the Swiss.
“The result was bad,” he says. “There were several factors that were responsible for it: The setup, myself and the traffic, while the track was getting faster and faster at the end. The asphalt dried up during the session and with slicks only the last lap was decisive. Without traffic I would certainly have been further ahead, but I have to admit that some pace was missing.”
In the first race, Maggi got off to a solid start. Although the car wasn’t running perfectly smoothly, the 23-year-old still made up two places, catapulting him to eighth place. He analyzed: “The start was good and the pace was better than in qualifying. But it was difficult for me to overtake because the engine wasn’t running smoothly, which is why I lacked the momentum in turn 2 for attacks. Overall, with eighth place, it was a very unspectacular race for me.”
In the second EuroNASCAR PRO race, things went much further for Maggi. The Swiss managed to put his stamp on the race and make up many positions. In the end, he just missed the podium in fourth place, but the second race at Brands Hatch was nevertheless an upward trend that Maggi hopes to continue in the future.
“I got a good start, but the engine was still giving me problems. I started from tenth place and managed to gain a lot of positions. In the end, I finished in fourth place. I’m not overwhelmed by the results, but fourth place was very positive – also because the engine wasn’t running perfectly and it’s difficult to overtake at Brands Hatch. A podium was certainly in the cards. With the fans and the attractions at the track, it felt really great again at Brands Hatch. The atmosphere was awesome and that’s something we’ve been missing at the other events.”
A podium in the EuroNASCAR PRO championship seems to be just a matter of time for Maggi. The 23-year-old Hendriks driver now travels to Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic in a stronger position. Rounds five and six of a total of twelve will take place on August 28-29.