Gordon Barnes beats the weather to grab Club Challenge honours

Gordon Barnes kept his 2021 winning streak alive in the Club Challenge event at Automotodrom Grobnik by setting the most consistent times in treacherous conditions in a tight duel with Federico Monti. The British driver grabbed his third consecutive win in the regularity-based competition to open the NASCAR GP Croatia.


Torrential rain forced the premature stoppage of the first timed session at the 4,168-Km Croatian track, turning the second one into a make-it-or-break-it deal. Barnes and the Marko Stipp Motorsport team mastered the difficult situation and concluded the session with a penalty time of just 0.572 seconds over file laps from his 1:57.000 benchmark.

“It was very difficult! We’ve been dodging rain storms all day and the track conditions were changing all the time. Finding a consistent pace was really tough,” said Barnes. “We kept the focus on our plan and came out the winners. Marko Stipp Motorsport did a fantastic job and we didn’t have any problems. We sure want to continue this way in the next two events!”

With a reference time of 2:00.000, Academy Motorsport / Alex Caffi Motorsport driver Monti accumulated a mere 0.008 seconds more penalty time compared to Barnes. The third place on the podium went to Speedhouse’s Paul Jouffreau with a 0.708 seconds penalty time. 

Nicolo Gabossi – driving for Not Only Motorsport – and former champion Andrea Kuchelbacher on the Marko Stipp Motorsport #46 Camaro completed the top-5 ahead of RDV Competition’s Jerome Mure. Three debutants took positions seven through nine and discovered the Pure Racing EuroNASCAR experience: Mitch Maguerez on the #27 Double V Racing Mustang, Aliyyah Koloc on the #56 CAAL Racing Mustang and Yasmeen Koloc on the #54 CAAL Racing Camaro. 

With the third win of the season, Barnes reinforced his lead in the points standings ahead of the penultimate event of the season, which will be held at Circuit Zolder, Belgium, on October 7. 

The NASCAR GP Croatia will continue with the EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2 championships practice sessions on Friday afternoon. From Saturday September 18, qualifying and the four NWES races from Grobnik will be streamed live on the NWES social media platforms – Youtube, Facebook and Twitch – as well as on the NWES app and on Motorsport.tv.