Soerensen Thrills With Valencia NASCAR Win

0
327
Lasse Soerensen won Friday's EuroNASCAR PRO event at Circuit Ricardo Tormo. (Stephane Azemard Photo)
Lasse Soerensen won Friday's EuroNASCAR PRO event at Circuit Ricardo Tormo. (Stephane Azemard Photo)

VALENCIA, Spain – For more than six turns, Lasse Soerensen and Loris Hezemans were side-by-side in the battle for the lead of Friday’s EuroNASCAR PRO race at Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

In the end it was Soerensen who grabbed his second EuroNASCAR PRO win in what was his first race at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. The Danish racer reduced his gap to championship leader Alon Day to five points with three races left in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season.

After being the first EuroNASCAR 2 champion to ever win a EuroNASCAR PRO race in his first year among the best European NASCAR drivers, Soerensen is now aiming at another historic milestone: winning both NASCAR Whelen Euro Series titles.

It was an eventful race for Soerensen at the wheel of his No. 66 DF1 Racing Chevrolet Camaro. The 23-year-old went off track on lap two after a contact in the pack and had to fight his way back to the front. On lap four, the Aalborg-native passed Lucas Lasserre for fourth and afterwards Lady Luck was on his side.

Day, who started from the pole, received a drive through penalty for a collision with Gianmarco Ercoli on the first lap of the race. Stienes Longin was comfortably leading, but the Belgian had to park due to an issue with his clutch.

Those events left Soerensen and Hezemans battling for the lead and it was a tremendous duel. After a daring move on the outside by Soerensen, the two spent the majority of lap 11 side by side for first. In the end it was Soerensen who grabbed the lead and won the race. Reigning series champion Hezemans ended up second.

“It’s always good to win,” said Soerensen, who also won the Junior Trophy. “I thank my team for the great car. We had some engine problems but the setup is very good. All the mechanics did a great job to make this car running. The battle with Loris was amazing. There was a lot of respect between us and I think we put up a very good show.” After being asked about his title ambitions, he answered: “I’m not thinking about that at the moment. I just want to give my best and make the most out of this weekend. On Sunday, we will see where we will be.”

Lucas Lasserre completed the overall podium after a strong run at Circuit Ricardo Tormo. He was followed by veteran Marc Goossens in fourth. Ercoli closed out the top-five to take second in the Junior Trophy classification.

Justin Kunz completed the Junior Trophy classification in seventh ahead of 2019 EuroNASCAR 2 runner-up Giorgio Maggi. Davide Dallara topped the Challenger Trophy classification for the fourth time by finishing ninth, while Dutch newcomer Olivier Hart was ranked 10th after a 10-second penalty for a contact with Soerensen.

With three races left in the EuroNASCAR PRO season, two of which award double points, Day is leading the champion by five points over Soerensen. Hezemans and Ercoli are tied for third, 21 points behind Day.