The invincible gladiator: Vittorio Ghirelli completes full NASCAR GP Italy weekend sweep

Vittorio Ghirelli was invincible in the 2024 edition of NASCAR GP Italy at Autodromo di Vallelunga. After leading all practice sessions, placing the #24 PK Carsport Chevrolet in Pole Position and winning the race on Saturday, the Italian completed a dominant weekend sweep with another victory in EuroNASCAR PRO Round 4. The PK Carsport superstar never looked back after starting the race from first position, the third of the season. With a perfect weekend, the Fasano native extended his lead in the EuroNASCAR PRO championship standings.

The start of the race couldn’t have gone any better for Ghirelli, who cleared front row starter Gianmarco Ercoli before they reached the fast and challenging Curvone. The Italian then swiftly dispatched his fellow countryman, leaving the whole field in the dust and managing his set of Hoosier tires to secure his sixth career victory. Having won three races already in the #24 Chevrolet Camaro, Ghirelli and PK Carsport consolidated their status as the top favorites for the EuroNASCAR PRO title in 2024.

“It’s very nice to have so many friends that came to support me,” said Ghirelli. “The double win was what they all wanted! PK Carsport did a fantastic job, we had a strong car this weekend. We were first in all sessions, so I owe them a big thank you. Let’s keep it up, the battle is very long and we must never back off.”

Ercoli maintained a steady pace to finish second and despite missing out on the victory, he was proud of what he achieved in front of his passionate fans. Martin Doubek initially lost third position to Fabrizio Armetta at the start, but the Hendriks Motorsport driver regained his place on lap 2 and was unchallenged afterwards. The Czech enjoyed a dream weekend in Italy having previously secured victories in both EuroNASCAR 2 races and will be looking forward to keeping his momentum in the next round at Brands Hatch.

Liam Hezemans pressured Armetta for several laps, pushing the Italian into a mistake on lap 12 to take home fourth place overall and the win in Junior Trophy. Tobias Dauenhauer continued to score points consistently with a top-5 result for the Bremotion driver. Armetta was eventually sixth under the checkered flag ahead of Paul Jouffreau, who ended up second in the Junior Trophy for drivers aged 25 and under. Ulysse Delsaux, Marc Goossens and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen completed the top-10.

Despite struggling with his tires, Thomas Toffel managed to edge out Thomas Krasonis and Riccardo Romagnoli in a battle that lasted until the checkered flag. The Swiss driver therefore won the Challenger Trophy for elite amateurs. Krasonis and Romagnoli also secured silverwares on their own: The Greek was third in Junior while the Italian was second Challenger behind Toffel. EuroNASCAR returnee Davide Dallara rounded out the Challenger Trophy podium in 15th place overall on his first race weekend in nearly two years.

Several notable names faced adversities. Ryan Vargas had to make an unscheduled stop that left him one lap down from Ghirelli. Lucas Lasserre was on the way to a fourth place finish when his #33 Speedhouse Ford Mustang broke down with just five laps to go. Vladimiros Tziortzis also retired from the race on lap 8, a less than ideal result for the Cypriot who wanted to establish a strong title challenge in the #1 Academy / Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang. Tziortzis will give it all to strike back at Brands Hatch, a track where he accomplished a perfect sweep in the 2023 EuroNASCAR 2 season.

In the provisional standings, Ghirelli is now up to 155 points, extending his lead to 27 points over Ercoli. Goossens is just four points behind the reigning EuroNASCAR PRO Champion. Top Junior Trophy contenders Hezemans and Jouffreau moved up to complete the top-5 positions. The two are tied with 119 points on their account.

Competitors of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will now prepare themselves for the third round of the season: The NASCAR GP UK, held at the famous Indy Circuit of Brands Hatch. The American SpeedFest event is one of the most popular rounds in the EuroNASCAR calendar and will provide plenty of excitement on 8-9 June 2024. All qualifying and races will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel and numerous TV channels around the world.

EuroNASCAR PRO Results | EuroNASCAR 2 Results