CAVLE, Croatia – Martin Doubek closed in on the EuroNASCAR championship leader with a victory Saturday at Automotodrom Grobnik after a tight battle with Vladimiros Tziortzis.
A penalty for then race leader Tobias Dauenhauer had a crucial impact on the outcome of the race.
For Doubek it was the third win of the season and the fifth of his career in EuroNASCAR 2. The Czech crossed the finish line .465 seconds ahead of Vladimiros Tziortzis, who reached his goal of collecting big points in the first of two races at the NASCAR GP Croatia. The Cypriot attacked Doubek several times but never got past the Hendriks Motorsport driver.
“I don’t know what happened to Tobias but I think I would have caught him in two laps,” said Doubek, who is now only 28 points shy of championship leader Dauenhauer. “I got the lead and put the pedal down, but Vladimiros put a lot of pressure on me. It was a really stressful race for me. I did it and I collected the big points for me and my team, who did a great job. Now we are looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”
The two teammates will start side by side again Sunday, with Dauenhauer on pole and Doubek in second on the first row on the grid.
Justin Kunz rounded out the overall podium in third place and therefore collected the second EuroNASCAR 2 podium of his career. The German was battling with his DF1 Racing teammate Simon Pilate for third and got past the Belgian when he suffered a puncture late in the race. Not Only Motorsport’s Alberto Panebianco ended up fourth overall and topped the Rookie Trophy classification. It was already his second top-five result in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season.
Brands Hatch race winner Advait Deodhar was fifth under the checkered flag. The Indian gained one position after starting from sixth. He was followed by Tobias Dauenhauer, who served his penalty on lap 10. The sanction was due to unauthorized operations on the car on the grid and the German therefore got a drive through penalty in the race. The Hendriks Motorsport driver fell back to eighth and then fought his way back up the ranks.