The DF1 Tigers collect plenty of trophies at Circuit Ricardo Tormo
A difficult but successful year came to an end for DF1 Racing at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. The Austrians had plenty of reasons to celebrate at the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series finale, as the DF1 Tigers brought home numerous titles and trophies for the powerhouse. As in 2019, there were many smiling faces and proud mechanics, engineers as well as helpers celebrating the end of the season after the last race of the year.
The 2019 EuroNASCAR 2 champion, Lasse Soerensen, was the most successful DF1 Tiger in 2020.
In the EuroNASCAR PRO championship, Soerensen immediately kept pace with the leaders and quickly emerged as a title contender over the ten rounds. He also wrote history: The Danish giant is the first EuroNASCAR 2 champion to win races in the EuroNASCAR PRO right after his promotion to European top tier NASCAR class.
Twice during the 2020 season, Soerensen turned the #66 Chevrolet Camaro into Victory Lane: in Belgium and Spain. Ultimately, the 24-year-old became vize champion in the overall standings behind champion Alon Day. The DF1 driver also won the Junior Trophy for drivers under 25 years of age. In ten rounds, the race driver from Aalborg finished in the top 5 seven times and in the top 10 nine times.
“It was a great year with lots of great duels,” said Soerensen, summing up the 2020 season. “I am very proud of my first season in the EuroNASCAR PRO championship. To be able to fight for the NWES title right from the start makes me proud. Of course I am happy about my victory in the Junior Trophy. I thank the whole team and my partners who support this project. I hope to come back even stronger for 2021.”
Nicolo Rocca finished his first EuroNASCAR season with DF1 Racing in ninth place overall. The Italian was signed late by the Austrians, as three-time champion Ander Vilarino was actually supposed to drive the #22 car. Rocca quickly found his way into the team and repeatedly showed his exceptional talent. In the end, the 26-year-old finished in the top 5 twice and seven times in the top 10. In the final race of the season, Rocca even stepped on the podium with a third place.
“We ended the season with some champagne,” Rocca said. “That’s something we really needed. I’m proud of how we developed as a team in 2020. The #22 car was fast and I finished on the podium. At the same time, it was the first race in which my father acted as my spotter. I thank the entire DF1 Racing team, especially DF1 Head of Motorsport Norbert Walchhofer, for their confidence in me.”
Justin Kunz finished directly behind his teammate in the overall standings. The German showed strong performances, especially in the second half of the season, and secured third place in the Junior Trophy with numerous top-10 results. The German from Appenweier finished in the top 10 in 50 percent of the races and regularly collected points for the overall standings.
“I am very happy with tenth place in the EuroNASCAR PRO championship as well as third place in the Junior Trophy. The competition is very strong in this series,” Kunz said. “It was always my goal to score points in the Junior Trophy. I thank the whole team for a great 2020 season.”
Three-time EuroNASCAR champion Ander Vilarino was supposed to take the wheel for DF1 Racing for the entire season. However, the Spaniard had to skip the championship due to the pandemic. For his home race, the Spaniard returned to the track to drive for partner team Marko Stipp Motorsport.
“I thank DF1 Racing for giving me the opportunity to race in Valencia and for all the hard work as well as the warm welcome,” said Vilarino. “Although I didn’t race once in 2020, I had a good base and the team managed to set up the car the way I needed it. Congratulations to DF1 Racing for the good results, I’m already looking forward to the 2021 season.”
DF1 Racing Head of Motorsports Norbert Walchhofer said: “I am very proud and happy about the achievements of the whole mechanics team and all drivers. In the EuroNASCAR PRO championship, we are the only team to have all Chevrolet Camaros and DF1 Tigers in the top 10. That shows what a great job the whole team has done in this problematic year with the pandemic. As we’ve raced until December, preparations for the 2021 season are already in full swing and our goal, of course, is to compete for the NWES title next year.”
The 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will kick off in April at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. It will then visit six more legendary road courses across Europe: Vallelunga (Italy), Most (Czech Republic), Brands Hatch (UK), Hockenheim (Germany), Grobnik (Croatia) and Zolder (Belgium).