The Swiss and his team in harmony at the Autodromo di Vallelunga
Giorgio Maggi confirmed his momentum from Brands Hatch at the Autodromo di Vallelunga and finally turned the corner in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Under the melting Italian sun, the EuroNASCAR PRO driver stormed into the top-3 in both races and celebrated two dominant victories in the Junior Trophy for drivers under 25 years of age. Together with the Race Art Technology team from Switzerland, the 25-year-old made his breakthrough in Europe’s NASCAR championship.
In the first free practice session on Friday, Maggi took it easy to get used to the #18 Toyota Camry and the four-kilometre circuit not far from the Italian capital Rome. In the second practice session, the youngster’s pace really shone for the first time: the Swiss finished in a solid third place, only 0.385 seconds behind the leader.
In qualifying, Maggi managed to confirm his form. The Race Art Technology driver finished fifth in Q1, securing a place in the Superpole shootout for the top-10 drivers of the first qualifying session. In the fight for pole position, Maggi ultimately took a strong third place with a 1:40.930. He was just 0.323 seconds behind polesitter and local hero Gianmarco Ercoli.
The first race on Saturday went like clockwork for Maggi. In front of thousands of fans along the track, the Swiss got off to a good start. The 25-year-old stayed out of all the trouble and ultimately secured a well-deserved second place behind the most successful NWES driver in history: Alon Day. Maggi and the three-time champion were separated by just 1.907 seconds at the finish line. That was also enough for him to win the Junior Trophy.
With his best lap time in the first race, Maggi secured third place on the grid for Sunday’s race, which again predicted to be a promising race for the driver from Hergiswil. As in the first race, the Race Art Technology driver had to battle against his competition by all means and again managed to fight for the top positions in the top championship of the NWES.
Like the day before, the Swiss rider got a podium place: Maggi finished third behind Ercoli and Day and won the Junior Trophy for the fourth time in a row – after the double victory in Brands Hatch. With his third podium of the season and his fourth career top-3 finish, Maggi made a big leap in the EuroNASCAR PRO standings: He now shares fourth place with Alexander Graff and clearly leads the Junior Trophy ahead of Thomas Krasonis.
Maggi comments on Sunday’s race: “It was a difficult race because I didn’t get a good start on the outside lane. I was on the outside lane at turn 2, which is not a good idea here. I was pushed out a bit and lost momentum on the backstretch. That cost me a few positions, but we never stopped fighting. I fought with Martin Doubek for a long time, it took me a while to pass him. My pace was better, but it wasn’t easy.”
The Swiss is confident that he can now attack at the top of the EuroNASCAR PRO championship: “I pushed the car to the limits and the tires were overheating. Because of the heat, it wasn’t an easy task in the car, especially during the safety car phases it got very hot. But we have a fast car now and I’m very happy with the two podiums. It looks like we have a strong package for the upcoming races.”
Maggi is motivated and focused to continue his positive trend after the summer break. Then the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will be making a visit to Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic. The two EuroNASCAR PRO races will take place on Saturday and Sunday 3rd and 4th September and will be streamed free of charge on the official EuroNASCAR YouTube channel.
The Swiss wants to show once again that he can keep up with the front runners The 2023