NWES • October 03, 2014
Owner/Driver Gianluca De Lorenzi impresses in Italy, plans team expansion
Daytona Beach, Florida - The Italian round of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series not only showcased four exciting races and enduring battles for Championships and Trophies. It also saw the strong debut of a new team from San Marino: GDL Racing. With an experience of over 12 years in Touring Car racing and GT racing, Owner/Driver Gianluca De Lorenzi took part in his first NASCAR race at the wheel of the #67 GDL Racing Ford Mustang at the Autodromo dell’Umbria di Magione and immediately found himself comfortable at the wheel of the 400 HP, 5.7 litres V8 stock-car.
Racing in both the ELITE 1 and the ELITE 2 divisions, De Lorenzi improved steadily in free practice and qualifying, posting the 13th fastest time in ELITE 1 on a track still drying from an early morning shower and then placing his Mustang on the front row in the ELITE 2 division, lowering his time by more than a second. He went on to score a sixth place in ELITE 1 Saturday Race and even jumped to third in the first laps of the Sunday Race before having to retire with a problem to his car.
"I didn’t take part in sprint races since a long time and I had a lot of fun. I didn’t have so much fun since many years. The level of the competition in NWES is very high," said an enthusiast De Lorenzi at the end of the Italian weekend. "I think we have quite a big margin to progress. We got to know the car for the first time during a test in Magione around ten days before the race, but it was mainly intended to gather some data and turn the first laps. Then we worked hard at home and brought to the track a car more suitable for my driving style and really competitive".
The team’s performances drew some attentions in the paddock and left the Team Owner very happy with the Championship and the unique atmosphere only a NASCAR Series can grant.
"These are cars for true drivers, because they have a manual, H-pattern gearbox, no electronic braking assistance and no traction control. It’s just you making the difference," concluded the 42-year-old Ravenna native, who is already planning for next season. "We will race in Le Mans and we plan to expand to two cars as soon as possible. I would very much like to compete as a driver in the 2015 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, but my commitments as a team manager will not allow it. Our goal would be to field more than two cars - possibly even more than three - and compete for the win in both the divisions".
The Le Mans Finals will take place at the historic Circuit Bugatti on October 11-12 and will see Championships, Trophies and Cups on the very last turn. In the heat of the battle, GDL Racing will surely look for its place to shine again.
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