The Swiss experienced a race weekend with light and shadow
The good news first: Giorgio Maggi continues to lead the Junior Trophy for drivers aged 25 and under in the 2022 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and recorded another victory in the special classification at the Autodrom Most. The Swiss driver struggled in the Czech Republic, but still put in another strong performance behind the wheel of the Race Art Technology Toyota Camry.
“But we weren’t at one hundred percent from the start, neither me nor the car,” said the race driver from Hergiswil, who nevertheless clocked the eighth fastest lap on the 4.2-kilometer circuit in free practice. “It wasn’t so easy to find the right setup and give the right feedback. In addition, the car was not where it should be.”
But even between the two free practices, the team from Switzerland was working hard to put Maggi in a car capable of winning, and together they made progress. In qualifying, Maggi caught “a really good lap,” but then oversteer threw a wrench in his plans. In eleventh place, Maggi missed out on a place in Superpole for the top-10 by just three hundredths of a second.
Maggi then started the first EuroNASCAR PRO race of the weekend on Saturday in the front midfield. “I actually got away well,” said the 24-year-old, describing the start. “Unfortunately, Alon Day spun at the front thanks to enemy contact and I just couldn’t avoid him. The car was damaged in the process, so I had to deal with severe understeer.” Maggi was only classified in 20th place and thus had to limit the damage.
On Sunday, it meant full attack. The team had worked on the car’s setup during the night and the changes were to bear fruit. By comparison, Maggi was around three seconds faster in the race on Sunday than on Saturday with the damaged car. But the start went badly wrong: The Swiss had to take the emergency exit in turn 1 and then swerve onto the grass because a car was stranded in the emergency exit on the formation lap.
Maggi had to fight his way back to the front from the very back. “The car was really strong, but it was unfavorable that we had to start from 16th place. The start itself was not bad at all. However, I had to go into the emergency exit and there was a damaged car blocking the way.” Despite all the hurdles, Maggi then ignited the turbo to make up numerous positions in the 17 laps.
“We were really fast,” said the racing driver from Hergiswil happily. “I was then really on the limit and only managed to keep the car on the track again and again with a lot of effort.” Then came the hoped for safety car, which shuffled Maggi up to the lead group. He used the outstanding pace of his #18 car and ultimately drove up to sixth place.
This marked Maggi’s fifth victory in the Junior Trophy in the 2022 NWES season. In the overall standings, the Swiss is in third place ahead of the final race of the regular season, just 38 points behind three-time champion Day. As the two worst results of the regular season will be dropped after the race in Zolder, Belgium (October 8 and 9), Maggi still has every chance of claiming the EuroNASCAR PRO title and the Junior Trophy at the finale in Grobnik, Croatia (October 29 and 30).