Final Rehearsal: Ercoli and Tziortzis top the Free Practice standings

The culmination of the 2022 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season is here and four free practice sessions kicked off the Fracasso NASCAR GP Croatia on Friday. While Gianmarco Ercoli topped both 30-minute EuroNASCAR PRO sessions, Vladimiros Tziortzis clocked the fastest lap in EuroNASCAR 2. Ercoli is just six points behind Alon Day in the overall standings and therefore the Italian aims at overtaking the winningest driver in NWES history to win his maiden EuroNASCAR PRO title. Tziortzis is eager to make up for a season filled with ups and downs and close the year on a high note. 

The Automotodrom Grobnik in Croatia is hosting the 2022 EuroNASCAR Finals for the first time. The 4.2 kilometer long circuit is unique on the NWES calendar with its fast and twisty layout and its beautiful location on the Croatian Riviera. A combined total of two titles and five Trophies are on the line in both championships and with all results still possible, the fans can expect four thrilling races on Saturday and Sunday.

EuroNASCAR PRO: Ercoli gains momentum 

With two phenomenal race wins at Circuit Zolder, Gianmarco Ercoli closed the gap in the EuroNASCAR PRO standings to six points from championship leader Alon Day. The 2015 EuroNASCAR 2 winner stated that he has to win all remaining races of the 2022 season to have a shot at beating Day and become a EuroNASCAR PRO Champion.

Ercoli clocked a stellar 1:28.818-lap to top the combined standings at the end of the day. Autodrom Most race winner Sebastiaan Bleekemolen finished second, 0.408 seconds behind the CAAL Racing driver. Zolder Pole Award winner Vittorio Ghirelli followed in third ahead of Patrick Lemarie. Championship leader Alon Day closed the top-5 at the wheel of his PK Carsport Chevrolet, 0,925 seconds shy of Ercoli. Both title contenders will provide an unforgettable show in Croatia.

Giorgio Maggi, one of the dark horses in the championship battle and the dominant leader in the Junior Trophy for drivers aged 25 and under, was ranked sixth, while Fabrizio Armetta topped the Challenger Trophy standings for bronze and silver drivers in seventh overall. Romain Iannetta, reigning EuroNASCAR 2 Champion Martin Doubek and Claudio Cappelli rounded out the top-10. 

EuroNASCAR 2: Tziortzis strikes back 

Vladimiros Tziortzis was involved in a violent crash at Circuit Zolder and was treated for an injury to his left arm. With a very quick recovery after undergoing a surgery procedure, the Cypriot is back on the grid at Automotodrom Grobnik and the Academy Motorsport / Alex Caffi Motorsport driver topped both EuroNASCAR 2 sessions. In the combined results, he beat championship leader and fastest Rookie Trophy driver Alberto Naska by 0.533 seconds. Liam Hezemans, who is currently runner-up in the standings, ended up third ahead of Martin Doubek and Claudio Cappelli, who was the fastest Legend Trophy driver. 

Melvin de Groot, one of the favorite in the Legend Trophy for drivers aged 40 and more, was sixth followed by Ulysse Delsaux, Leonardo Colavita, Gil Linster and EuroNASCAR newcomer Hugo Sasse, who’s a non-championship driver at Automotodrom Grobnik. Luli Del Castello was the fastest Lady Trophy driver in 17th overall. The Italian is leading the special classification and has good chances of winning the title in the 2022 NWES season. Alina Loibnegger and Arianna Casoli are both looking for a way to push Del Castello off the throne. 

The Fracasso NASCAR GP Croatia will see Qualifying and four final rounds on Saturday and Sunday with double points on the lines. All playoff sessions will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, and several TV services all around the world.