For the fourth time in its history, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series made a stop at the Vallelunga Piero Taruffi Circuit for the NASCAR GP Italy. The American Festival of Rome offered a series of on-track and off-track attractions for racing enthusiasts and the whole family. Four NASCAR races – two for each championship – were at the heart of the rich program. At the midway point of the 2023 season, drivers battled to collect important points and lay the foundation for the second half of the championship. There were no shortage of spectacular “bump to bump” battles, and tens of thousands of fans on the track or in front of their devices were able to witness a truly epic event.
Double V Racing, seeking redemption after the bloody weekend at Brands Hatch, put the Ford Mustang #27 back on the track in record time, adorned with a special livery featuring the Italian tricolor to pay homage to the local fans.
The three drivers, Stefano Attianese (EN Pro), Patrick Schober (EN 2), and Viktor Schiffer (Club Challenge), arrived at the event highly determined, focused, and eager to perform well in their home GP for Double V Racing.
As usual, it’s the Club Challenge that open the GP Italy programme. After the unlucky weekend in Valencia and the obligatory break at Brands Hatch, Schiffer is finally on the track to go for his first podium of the season.
On Friday morning the young driver takes to the track and the sensations are immediately positive: the car responds well and in the first day the times are encouraging. Second and third rounds are a crescendo of performance, Viktor is fast and very good at maintaining a constant rhythm, which is fundamental for the regularity category. There is great optimism in the pit lane, and indeed the confirmation soon arrives from the final verdict of the race judges. Schiffer is second! First race completed and first podium for Viktor. The dream is finally a reality.
Certainly the race weekend of our PRO driver cannot be described as positive. Lots of bad luck at Vallelunga for Stefano Attianese, who in front of his home crowd certainly aspired to very different results from those obtained. The regret is so much after a good trend of performance between Free Practice and Qualify, with lower and lower times lap after lap.
Race 1 starts immediately well, Attianese, who started from P21 on the grid, immediately recovers 2 positions in the first 2 laps. The race pace is right, the comeback can be made. But on the third lap, Stefano lost control of the car coming out of a bend and spun, hitting the straight wall hard. The car cannot continue and his race ends here. It will be P26.
Race 2 may be the race of redemption but bad luck once again befalls the #27 Ford Mustang. During the disafety car regime of race 2 EN2 (which precedes race 2 ENPRO by a few hours) the engine overheats excessively and requires a complete rectification, but time is not enough. The car can no longer take to the track. A pity but we must look ahead, so head to Most where we will certainly have the opportunity to redeem ourselves in a big way.
After the bad accident at Brands Hatch Schober returns to the #27 Mustang in the hunt for important points for the fight for the Top 5. The Qualify session goes great and the young Austrian stops the clock on the fifth time overall, so he will start in P5.
Race 1 is in danger of being seriously compromised: after the accident in EN PRO the car has to be rebuilt in record time. The team completes the work right at the end of the race and Schober takes to the track but starts from the pit lane in last position. Everything has to be rebuilt. Patrick got off to a furious start overtaking after overtaking and after only seven laps he was already in P8. On lap eleven he finally caught up with the group of three rivals in front of him. The #27 Mustang was a missile and Schober slipped past his rivals one after the other, incredibly managing to close in P5 in a fantastic race.
Race 2 seemed the right one to try for the first podium of the season, again starting from P5 and Schober was encouraged by the outcome of race 1. But Vallelunga seemed bewitched this year. On the first lap, while Patrick is being overtaken by the #66, in the middle of the group a bad accident involves several cars.Safety car on the track for a good 10 laps. At the restart, Doubek in the #7 managed to overtake Patrick, and even this time there was no time to react when another accident brought the Safety car back on. The race ends like this, with a P7 in what was more of a parade than a race.