A new King of Brands Hatch crowned: Liam Hezemans thrills the UK fans with dominant victory

Liam Hezemans completed an incredible turnaround of form in EuroNASCAR PRO Round 6 at Brands Hatch to become the new King of the popular American SpeedFest. Hezemans earned Pole Position after he clocked the fastest lap on the race on Saturday and made good use of his advantage to hold on to the lead. The Dutchman then survived an early restart and drove away from his rivals, sealing his return to the Victory Lane. This is the second victory of the 2024 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season for the driver of the #50 Hendriks Motorsport Toyota Camry and the third of his career. Hezemans did not only get the King of Brands Hatch crown but also collected another beautiful titanium ring for winning the Tijey Fastest Driver Award.

“It was a tough race, especially at the restart when we went two-by-two again,” said Hezemans, who scored his first EuroNASCAR PRO race win outside of Valencia. “I got a push from Lucas Lasserre and Gianmarco Ercoli was on the outside, that helped me defend the lead. The car was pretty awesome the whole race long but managing the traffic at the end was tough. I tried to do it gently but Lasserre really pushed and got back to my rear bumper. Of course I want to win the title and with my home race at Raceway Venray coming up, I’m looking forward to the next challenge. I already raced on the oval and got a win there in another series.”

The 1.944 kilometer long Indy Circuit offered early drama with a multi-car collision on lap 2 that took out local hero Max Marzorati, who made contact with Scottish shooting star Jack Davidson. The Safety Car was deployed to allow marshalls to safely recover Marzorati’s #27 Double V Racing Ford Mustang. The restart that took place on lap 7 – the race was extended by two laps – was the key for Lucas Lasserre to finish on the podium in back-to-back races at SpeedFest. The Frenchman masterfully carved his way past Gianmarco Ercoli to grab second at the Druids hairpin and fend off the challenges from Hezemans’ teammate Martin Doubek all the way to the checkered flag.

Doubek’s podium was the reward for a beautiful comeback drive. The Czech driver started from sixth and did not gain places on the initial start, but the Safety Car gave him a second chance that he took with both hands. The driver of the #7 Ford Mustang overtook both Vittorio Ghirelli and Fabrizio Armetta on the restart and found an opening on Ercoli’s defense on lap 14 to take the final podium position away from the previous King of Brands Hatch. Therefore, Ercoli crossed the line in fourth at the end of 40 laps of racing.

Another driver who made a strong charge to the front was Tobias Dauenhauer, who gained seven places to secure a top-5 finish for Bremotion. Paul Jouffreau in sixth took second in the Junior Trophy, being beaten only by race winner Hezemans in the special classification for drivers aged 25 and under. Ulysse Delsaux finished ahead of Vittorio Ghirelli in seventh. The Italian had a difficult race in his #24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro that resulted in his first finish outside of the podium in 2024.

Ghirelli was unhappy about the driving style of Fabrizio Armetta, who was part of the six-car group fighting for fifth position. Armetta was involved in an incident with Thomas Toffel and was handed a 10-second-penalty by race control. The Club Motorsport driver then had to serve a drive through penalty in the closing stages of the race for contacts with Delsaux, Ghirelli and Dauenhauer, dropping to eleventh. Ghirelli said: “He pushed me five or six times, that was a tough situation. I’m really not okay with how he raced me today.”

Sebastiaan Bleekemolen and Ryan Vargas completed the top-10, the latter bringing a trophy back to America with third among the Juniors. Max Lanza was the top driver in the Challenger Trophy for elite amateur drivers in twelfth position. Riccardo Romagnoli and Kenko Miura thrilled the fans in their battle for the top-3 positions on the Challenger Trophy. The Italian and the Japanese driver made some great, fair and clean overtakes on each other.

EuroNASCAR PRO Round 6 did not go to plan for Ghirelli, but the Italian still holds the red Whelen banner for being the championship leader. With 204 points, Ghirelli now has an advantage of eleven points over reigning champion Ercoli. Hezemans moved up to third with 190 points while Jouffreau and Lasserre completing the top-5 in the standings.

One race remains in the program for the 2024 NASCAR GP UK: EuroNASCAR 2 Round 6, which will go live at 17:20 CEST / 16:20 local time. The race will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel and several TV networks from all around the world.

EuroNASCAR PRO Results | EuroNASCAR 2 Results

NWES PR