Longin & Castro Take Brands Hatch Poles

Stiens Longin (left) and Andre Castro (right) won the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series poles Saturday at Brands Hatch. (NASCAR Photo)
Stiens Longin (left) and Andre Castro (right) won the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series poles Saturday at Brands Hatch. (NASCAR Photo)

WEST KINGSDOWN, England – PK Carsport drivers Stiens Longin and Andre Castro swept qualifying for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series NASCAR GP UK weekend Saturday at Brands Hatch.

Longin won his maiden pole in the ELITE 1 Division, while Castro set the fastest lap time in the ELITE 2 Division in the last moments of qualifying.

Longin clocked a 49.440-second lap around the 1.9-kilometer Indy Circuit, beating Hendriks Motorsport’s Loris Hezemans by just .012 of a second. It was the first ELITE 1 Division pole for the former ELITE 2 champion driving the No. 11 Camaro. Defending NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion Alon Day ended up third in his CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS.

“I did not expect the pole position here, because it’s not my best track for sure,” said Longin. “My guys worked hard during the night to find the right setup and in the end it paid off. It’s a good starting point to grab my first win, but for that we have to race first. It’s always nice to race in front of such a big crowd and we will give our best in today’s race.”

The ELITE 2 Division was highlighted by the third different pole sitter in three events. Castro, driving the No. 24 Camaro for PK Carsport, conquered his maiden NASCAR pole.

The American rookie clocked a 49.281-second lap, which granted him the pole in his first outing at the Brands Hatch Circuit. He won an incredibly tight battle with Florian Venturi in the last seconds of the session after exchanging the pole with the Frenchman several times.

“I don’t know what to say, I’m so excited right now,” said Castro. “You always dream about more. It’s all about winning the race. Here it came down to that one lap and we did it. It’s only six corners, I managed to have a decent lap. My team is really doing the best they can. They gave me an awesome car today and I’m looking forward to the race. I was pushing the whole time and trying to get the perfect gap from the guy in front of me. That worked out well.”

Franciacorta ELITE 2 round four winner Venturi will start second Saturday’s ELITE 2 race.