Pure drama in Valencia: Vittorio Ghirelli wins unpredictable first race with PK Carsport

Vittorio Ghirelli keeps showing why he’s the driver to beat in the 2024 NASCAR GP Spain at Circuit Ricardo Tormo. After leading Free Practice and taking the Pole Position in Qualifying, the Italian driver brought home the first win for PK Carsport since 2022. Ghirelli was trailing Bremotion’s Tobias Dauenhauer for the majority of the race when the German suffered a late heartbreak that handed the win to the new driver of the #24 Chevrolet Camaro – a team that has won four EuroNASCAR PRO championships with two different pilots at the wheel.

Ghirelli had his work cut out following a bad start that dropped him down to third place behind Dauenhauer and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen. The Italian maintained a steady pace and kept his car clean when the drivers in front of him ran into trouble. Bleekemolen was eliminated on lap 12 due to a suspected issue with the rear of the car and then four laps later the crankshaft – at least that’s what the German suspects – in Dauenhauer’s car broke, promoting Ghirelli up to first. The Fasano native then held off Fabrizio Armetta and Paul Jouffreau for his first EuroNASCAR PRO victory in Spain.

“It was a nice race and I had a really good pace, but we had a little issue at the start so we lost a few positions,” summed up Ghirelli in the Victory Lane. “I went down on green and the outside lane just had a better start. We have to analyze the data to sort it out for tomorrow. It’s so hard to overtake and the temperatures were very high, so we were pushing the cars to the limit. I dedicate this victory to my uncle, he passed away a few months ago. It was important to win, let’s carry on like that.”

Armetta’s dream start to the 2024 EuroNASCAR season continued with a career best second place finish for the 51-year old driver from Rome, beating his previous best finish of third from the 2023 Finals at Zolder. Trailing behind him was RDV Competition’s Jouffreau, who went on a stunning charge to the front. Starting 15th after setup issues in Qualifying, the Frenchman picked off his opponents one by one and was rewarded with an epic podium finish. This also allows him to secure both the victory in Junior Trophy and the bonus championship points for most positions gained.

Veteran Lucas Lasserre once again showed why he is the king of maximizing results. The Speedhouse owner and driver masterfully avoided problems and crossed the finish line in third, but was penalized for a track limits infringement after the race. Marc Goossens also gained plenty of places, going up from 14th on the grid to fifth in his first start with Team Bleekemolen. Gianmarco Ercoli’s first race as a father saw him finishing sixth ahead of Ulysse Delsaux with Thomas Toffel ending up as the best of the Challenger Trophy drivers in eighth.

Academy / Alex Caffi Motorsport’s duo of Patrick Lemarie and Vladimiros Tziortzis completed the top-10, the latter making a comeback after a first lap incident that resulted in a spin for the Cypriot. Thomas Krasonis and Ryan Vargas also made their own comebacks from the same incidents to fill out the top-3 positions on the Junior Trophy. Max Lanza and Dario Caso rounded out the podium positions in the special classification for elite amateur drivers.

2023’s winner Liam Hezemans was looking to make a strong top-5 finish when he suffered a puncture on lap 9. The Dutchman plummeted down the running order and was only able to salvage a 20th place finish. Teammate Martin Doubek didn’t fare better either, retiring after just seven laps. A Full Course Yellow was triggered on lap 13 after Kenko Miura suffered a mechanical issue that left him stranded at turn 11.

Ghirelli leads the EuroNASCAR PRO standings with 40 points. Jouffreau is second, just two points behind the Italian due to the bonus points he earned in Round 1. Armetta is third, ahead of Lasserre and Goossens.

The incredible action from NASCAR GP Spain continues at 17:10 CEST with the first race of the EuroNASCAR 2 division. You can watch the race from EuroNASCAR’s most unpredictable division live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel and numerous TV channels around the world.

EuroNASCAR PRO Results | EuroNASCAR 2 Results