Engine failure in free practice! Within 1.5 hours, the Hendriks team had installed a replacement engine, enabling Giorgio Maggi to put in a perfect lap behind the wheel of his #50 Ford Mustang at Raceway Venray, the only oval on the calendar of the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. In the final stint of the 30-minute ELITE2 qualifying, Maggi managed to lap the oval in 19.636s. It was his second pole position after the round at Most (CZE). “I am really happy to have made it to pole position here at Venray as well after a tough battle,” the delighted Swiss commented.
Giorgio Maggi made a poor start from pole position. He let his wheels spin and lost some positions as a result. However, the Swiss battled to close up to the front-running group again. Then, however, a NASCAR race car ahead of him lost oil that spread out on the windscreen of the #50 Ford Mustang. “I hardly could see anything and the wiper didn’t have any effect either, so it was like driving blind on the oval,” Giorgio Maggi attempted to explain his lack of further progress. The Swiss kept damage limited by finishing fifth.
He continues to lead the points’ standings, now with a margin of nine points prior to the Hockenheim round, the next event of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series on 21-22 September 2019.
Q&A with Giorgio Maggi:
What was your first participation in a NASCAR stock car on an oval like?
“You do need quite a good condition, just turning left for 70 laps, but it really is great fun and I was fast, too, as I really fought hard to claim pole position.”
You didn’t have the best of starts with spinning wheels and your windscreen was covered in oil later on, with hardly any visibility left. Nevertheless, you continued and still finished fifth. A huge performance. How did you do that?
“With my start not having been optimal, I tried to close up to the group of the frontrunners to be in a position to attack and to overtake. With the oil on the windscreen, all my planning was in vain. Suddenly, I almost had no visibility at all and the wiper didn’t help either. Therefore, I had to find my line lap after lap by half looking through the side window. There was no chance for me to mount a challenge for the lead. I was happy to be able to remain on track in the first place! I am very happy with fifth position.”
Hockenheim will probably be crucial for the championship with double points at stake there. How do you rate your chances of winning the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series title?
“Hockenheim is one of my favourite tracks, one that I know very well. Our #50 Ford Mustang should be strong here. Throughout the 2019 season, the advice from motorsport legend Toine Hezemans (NL) has been really helpful for m, too. It is a good combination together with the team. Of course, I reckon that I have a chance to win the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series title in the ELITE2 class. I am highly motivated for Hockenheim!”