Racing Engineering


Third at Hockenheim in the Elite 2 race for Racing Engineering and Hugo De Sadeleer.

The sixth race weekend of the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series saw the teams at the German Grand Prix circuit of Hockenheim and, with the Series reaching the semi-finals, the teams and drivers were now battling for double points in the weekend’s four races. Following yesterday’s Free Practice sessions when all four of the team’s drivers set competitive times, Ander Vilariño and Romain Iannetta were in the top ten of the Elite 1 runners with Elite 2 drivers Myatt Snyder sixth and NASCAR Euro newcomer Hugo De Sadeleer also top ten runners with Hugo especially impressing with the third fastest time over the two sessions.

The ten-minute Elite 1 session saw Ander’s first flying lap was a 1:34.592 for third fastest which he then improved to 1:33.482 but he was unable to improve on this time to qualify a very disappointed thirteenth. Initially Romain found himself caught in traffic and his best lap of 1:34.089 saw him in the bottom half of the field but after deliberately slowing to find some clear track he immediately lowered his time to 1:32.559 to finish sixth and qualify for the five-minute twelve car Superpole runoff. Romain set a lap of 1:33.234 in the runoff to qualify ninth for this afternoon’s race.

The Elite 2 twenty-minute qualifying was almost immediately red-flagged with a car in the Turn 12 gravel trap but, as the session resumed, Myatt went eighth with a time of 1:34.926 and Hugo immediately grabbed everybody’s attention as he went third on 1:33.572. Myatt lowered his time to 1:34.596 for tenth and both Racing Engineering cars returned to the pits with eight minutes remaining to conserve their tyres for Superpole. Hugo was flying once again in Superpole going fastest on 1:33.250 and Myatt was ninth with a time of 1:34.863 and at the end of the five minutes Hugo had qualified third for his debut race with Myatt eleventh.
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The opening lap of the Elite 1 race saw several cars running wide and Romain had to back off a little to avoid contact and dropped two places to eleventh while Ander was able to move up one place to twelfth and was sitting on the rear bumper of his teammates car. On the third lap the Safety Car was deployed while a car stranded in a gravel trap was removed. When racing resumed there were fourteen laps remaining and Ander was able to pass Romain for eleventh while the French driver fell to fourteenth but immediately there was heavy contact between two cars behind the Racing Engineering drivers and the Safety Car was immediately recalled to the track which meant the cars would reform in the positions they held on the lap before the incident returning Romain to eleventh and Ander to twelfth with nine laps left. This time Romain had a good restart and gained two places to move up to ninth but Ander lost places when Bleekemolen locked his brakes forcing the Spaniard to take avoiding action but he quickly regained eleventh and was once again chasing Romain who had dropped back to tenth and he then ran wide falling to twelfth. Suddenly Ander was pulling off the track at Turn 4 and into retirement promoting Romain to eleventh once again until he was passed by Delsaux. With two laps remaining Romain was forced to pit and retire finishing in twenty-first with Ander classified twenty-third.
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Both of the Racing Engineering Ford Mustangs were ready to run in the Elite 2 race with Hugo promoted to second and Myatt to tenth. Hugo made a great start leading away from the grid but was passed into the first corner by Sorensen and Myatt moving up to seventh but an incident further down the field saw a Safety Car period with the cars returning to their grid positions for the restart. Racing resumed with ten laps to go and once again Hugo made a great start leading into the first corner with Myatt in seventh, but he ran wide losing a place to finish the lap in eighth. By lap ten Hugo was still leading but Maggi in second was closing in and the Racing Engineering car ran wide into the final corner losing the lead and Sorensen was also able to pass along the main straight. Myatt was still holding onto eighth but was having to keep Doubek behind him who was pushing the American driver hard and on lap twelve he dropped to ninth. Hugo was able to hold onto third to make a very impressive Euro NASCAR debut while Myatt onto ninth.
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Team Comments:

Ander Vilariño: "It has been a tough weekend so far. Gearbox problem in FP1, timekeeping mistake in Qualifying and wheel bearing broken in race 1 when we were doing a correct race overtaking some rivals. Let's see tomorrow in race 2....."

Romain Iannetta: "I had a lot of contact with other cars at the start and also the restart and after three laps the car become very difficult to drive. Maybe I suffered from a problem with the tyres already as in the end I had to retire due to a damaged tyre."

Myatt Snider: "We struggled a little bit today. Unfortunately the car didn’t seem to keep the same speedy handling it had in yesterday’s practice. So the Racing Engineering team will go to work tonight to make the 48 Ford Performance Mustang faster for tomorrow. I have confidence in the guys to give me what we need."

Hugo De Sadeleer: It’s really pleasing to come to a team that’s so competitive and professional. The car was quite difficult to learn, but with a few set up changes and engineering the car was perfect for qualifying and we managed to qualify P2. In the race the car felt good but I wasn’t used to the fuel load. I was very happy to lead and finish the race on the podium. Thanks to Racing Engineering for the amazing opportunity."
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