Best EuroNASCAR result yet for Aliyyah Koloc in difficult circumstances
Aliyyah Koloc battled through the pain barrier to achieve the best EuroNASCAR result so far for herself and the Buggyra ZM Racing team at Vallelunga in Italy.
The circuit near Rome features a mix of fast and slow corners and the higher number of gear changes per lap, and a mechanical problem with the gearshift in Aliyyah’s car caused her to strain the tendons in her right forearm already during Friday practice.
Nonetheless, she fought on and earned a ninth place finish from the 30-car field in the first EuroNASCAR 2 race on Saturday. The arm injury did eventually end her weekend early, with the priority on healing in time for the next events rather than risk doing more harm in the weekend’s closing EuroNASCAR Pro race 2.
“On this track you use the whole range of gears from first to fourth and you shift more than usual, so when it’s not working properly it’s really difficult. I tried my best to continue but we decided there’s no point to damage my arm more and to get ready for the next race which will already be in two weeks time when I will race in the French GT4 series in Spa,” said Aliyyah.
"We struggled the whole Friday with the shifting and it was only solved properly on Saturday. However, in the meantime, it did a lot of damage to Aliyyah’s arm. She still managed to achieve her best result yet on Saturday, but on Sunday, as the pain spread to her elbow, it really became too difficult for her physically," said David Vrsecky, chief designer for Buggyra ZM Racing.
Aliyyah qualified in 24th position in EuroNASCAR Pro, but her hopes of moving forward in the first race were thwarted by contact with another driver on the first lap. Aliyyah had to wait for assistance from the marshals under the safety car to free her car so she could rejoin the race, and she finished four laps down in 24th place following a drive-through penalty.
Aliyyah lined up 14th for the first of the EuroNASCAR 2 races, and made a great start to climb up to ninth almost immediately. She continued to move forward and in the closing stages, following a safety car restart, she was fighting over sixth position. She ultimately ended up ninth, just 0.4 seconds from the Lady Trophy win.
“The race was going well and then on the last lap I had a problem with the car and I made a mistake and lost two positions. So I’m not so happy about that, but to still finish in the top 10 for the first time is good,” Aliyyah said afterwards.
In Race 2 on Sunday morning, Aliyyah was running on the fringes of the top 10 early on, and although she fell back to 17th and was struggling with the pain in her arm, she recovered ground again to finish 14th, once more only one position away from the Lady Trophy win.
The next race of the EuroNASCAR series will take place on September 3-4 in Most, Czech Republic. However, Aliyyah will already be back behind the wheel on July 22-24 for the French GT4 series at Spa-Francorchamps which she is also competing in.