Last-Lap Crash Gifts Maggi Euro Series Triumph

Giorgio Maggi earned his first NASCAR Whelen Euro Series ELITE 2 triumph in his first attempt Saturday. (NASCAR Photo)

VALENCIA, Spain – Giorgio Maggi went to victory lane in his first NASCAR Whelen Euro Series race Saturday at Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

The Swiss driver was quick to avoid a crash in the  last corner of the race after a restart with two laps to go, picking up the second NASCAR Whelen Euro Series win for Hendriks Motorsport in Saturday’s ELITE 2 event.

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Maggi took advantage of the fierce battle between Americans Andre Castro and Myatt Snider. The two American drivers fought hard for the lead all race long and in the last turn Snider made a move to overtake Castro for the lead. The attempt resulted in a contact, which sent both drivers spinning, giving Maggi the opportunity to sneak past to grab the checkered flag.

“I’m really happy to win here in my Euro NASCAR debut in Valencia,” said the 21-year-old race driver, who also won the Rookie Trophy. “I tried everything to catch those two guys in front of me, but in the end my goal was to save a little bit of tires. I managed to avoid crashing into them and got the win. Many thanks to Hendriks Motorsport for giving me such a great race car.”

Snider and Castro ended up 23rd and 24th after spinning in the last turn of the race and Snider received a 10-point penalty for causing an avoidable collision.

After starting 12th, Vittorio Ghirelli completed a spectacular comeback and finished second ahead of a solid Martin Doubek, who gave another podium finish to Hendriks Motorsport. Massimiliano Lanza won the battle for fourth ahead of Dexwet-Df1 Racing driver Advait Deodhar.

“I advanced to Superpole in qualifying, but couldn’t set a lap time due to a gearbox issue,” said Ghirelli. “The mechanics did a great job and changed it very quickly. We had a fantastic race driving from twelfth to second, it was great fun and it was incredible.”

“I’m proud of my team for the fantastic car they gave me,” said Doubek, who is doing double duties this year by racing in ELITE 1 and ELITE 2. “I’m angry with myself because I was too slow. I had a better pace in the ELITE 1 race. I made too many mistakes, so I’m not that happy. I hope to be faster in tomorrow’s races.”

Scott Jeffs ended up sixth ahead of Pierluigi Veronesi and Mirco Schultis, who won the Legend Trophy. Sam Taheri and Michael Bleekemolen completed the top-10.

Arianna Casoli won the Lady Trophy by finishing 16th.