NASCAR GP Germany: Soerensen in the championship battle, Smyrlis with solid debut

Credits: Michael Großgarten

Lasse Soerensen and Ioannis Smyrlis show strong performances – Guillaume Deflandre and Justin Kunz have bad luck

Credits: Michael Großgarten
Credits: Michael Großgarten

Only eleven points separate Lasse Soerensen and Giorgio Maggi ahead of the grand final of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. The Dane grabbed his fifth win on Sunday in Germany and still dreams of bringing home the first title for DF1 Racing. But Maggi is a strong opponent and that’s why the fans can expect an exciting final in Belgium.

On Saturday Soerensen was not able to beat the Swiss championship leader. The 22-year-old driver tried everything to pass Maggi. The drivers had an intense battle for 16 laps, door-to-door! On Sunday Soerensen put down the hammer: He beat Maggi, who only finished fifth, and decreased the gap on the Swiss to eleven championship points. The championship battle for the Elite2 Division title is on!

“It was a really good race today, as my plan was to catch Maggi right from the beginning,” said the 22-year-old Dane, who managed to position himself in the title hunt despite missing the season opener in Valencia. “The plan worked out really well but I had to defend my position after the two cautions, which was not that easy. I managed to have three good starts and it seems like I was very quick in the first 2-3 laps after each restart. Now I want the title, which was the goal even before the start of my season in Italy. We will get there! I thank the whole DF1 racing team and my sponsor for the great support!”

For the drivers at wheel of the #99 Chevrolet Camaro it was a mixed weekend. During free practice Justin Kunz worked hard on his setup. Returnee Guillaume Deflande was in ninth position during the first semi final but had to retire due to an engine failure in the very last lap. That’s why Justin Kunz was not able to start his Elite2 race a few hours later, because the mechanics had to work on the new engine. On Sunday Guillaume Deflandre carved his way up the ranks to the eleventh place finishing the race in the top one-third of the 26-cars grid. His teammate and one of the most popular drivers Justin Kunz also had bad luck in Sunday’s Elite2 race, where he showed a good spirit and good performance, but he did not score the expected results.

“I enjoyed the atmosphere during the American Fan Fest at Hockenheim”, said Deflandre. “It was not an easy debut in the Elite1 Division, because of the technical problems. The team worked hard and we gained speed in every session. I thank the whole team for that! In the first race the engine stopped working. That’s why I was not able to score a solid result. The whole DF1 team deserved a good spot in the classification. On Sunday we paid ourself back with a solid eleventh place.”

Kunz was sidelined on Saturday’s Elite2 Division race in front of his home crowd because of the engine failure in the Elite1 race. The German also had bad luck on Sunday. But he showed a good spirit and a good performance, even he did not score the expected results.

“It was a weekend I want to forget as soon as possible,” said Kunz. “In the first practice we faced some problems finding the right setup. I spend a lot of time in the box but not on the track. The qualifying was okay, as I made it into Superpole. Guillaume had an engine failure in his race and that’s why i missed the first Elite2 race. I had to start from the back in the second race. I was able to drive, but I was not able to gain a lot of position, because of the performance of the engine. It was a frustrating home race in front of my friends, fans and sponsors.”

Ioannis Smyrlis, who was at the wheel of the #22 Marko Stipp DF1 Racing car, made his NWES debut in both divisions. The German-Greek impressed with a strong performance. In the Elite1 Division he won the Challenger Trophy on Sunday and grabbed a second place in the special classification of the Elite1 Division on Saturday. In the Elite2 Division, which was more of a practice for Smyrlis, he finished in the midfield.

“It was a crazy weekend, an awesome event and a strong team,” said NWES debutant Smyrlis. “I surpassed my goals and grabbed the win in the Challenger Trophy. I improved session by session until I was competitive. I thank everyone at DF1 Racing and Marko Stipp Motorsport for the great job they’ve done. Also thanks to my sponsor TheMagicTouch, who made this experience possible. I’m happy about the cooperation between DF1 Racing and Marko Stipp, because I could never have wished for a better team!”

The NWES final will take place on October 5-6 at the famous Circuit Zolder. The whole DF1 team will work hard to have a successful season final. While Soerensen will fight for the title, Kunz, Deflandre and Smyrlis will give their best, to show themselves and the potential of the team in the 2019 NWES season once more.

Credits: Michael Großgarten
Credits: Michael Großgarten