The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series regular season closed last weekend with the only oval race in the 2019 championship at Raceway Venray, Netherlands. Loris Hezemans grabbed an impressive win on the high-banked short track and moved up one position in the ELITE 1 Division championship. Stienes Longin still holds the lead when five drivers are separated by just 15 points and no less than 17 drivers sit inside the 100-points gap.
With four races to go and double points awarded for each playoff race, the battle for the Euro NASCAR title is more open than ever.
Stienes Longin – Mr. Consistency comes from Belgium and is driving the #11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro. The Leuven-native is still searching for his first ever ELITE 1 win, but sits in the lead of the points standings thanks to a remarkable regular season. Scoring six second places, the 2016 ELITE 2 champion grew to be the most consistent driver in the 2019 NWES season. The 27-year finished outside the top-10 just once.
Loris Hezemans – The flying Dutchman scored his second and third NWES career win in back-to-back at Most and Venray to close the regular season between. Hezemans is only seven markers behind Longin and will carry a huge momentum into the playoffs. The 2018 Junior Trophy winner has all chances to become a Euro NASCAR champion in his second full-time NWES season. He scored seven top-10 and five top-5 finishes in 2019 so far.
Nicolo Rocca – The NWES veteran came back full-time to Euro NASCAR in 2019 with PK Carsport and it was like he never left. The Italian scored his first win since 2015 at Most and finished inside the top-10 eight times in nine races. The driver of the #24 Chevrolet Camaro is third with a gap of eight points from his teammate Longin, making for an intense battle inside PK Carsport.
Alon Day – The reigning Euro NASCAR champion suffered a setback in the NWES debut at Autodrom Most, in the Czech Republic. The two-time champion from Israel is still in the hunt for his third title with a gap of 15 markers from the leader and all the experience to come back as he did in 2018. With three wins in his pocket, the CAAL Racing driver will have once again to give all his best in the playoff races at Hockenheim and Zolder.
Ander Vilarino – The winningest NWES driver sits fifth in points and looks on his way back towards the front of the grid after a convincing fourth place at Venray. After winning both Valencia races, Vilarino and his Racing Engineering team lost a little bit of their edge but kept themselves in contention. The Spaniard scored four top-5s and seven top-10s finishes. With three titles in his palmares and 29 points to recover, Vilarino is poised to return to Victory Lane.
The best of the rest – Vilarino’s teammate Romain Iannetta leads a tight group of drivers who could very well fight their way back into contention in the playoffs, with double points on the line in every race. The Frenchman, Alexander Graff, Frederic Gabillon, Jacques Villeneuve, Thomas Ferrando and 2018 ELITE 2 Champion Ulysse Delsaux are separated by just 12 points and all eager to make up some ground at Hockenheim. Six more drivers, starting with Salvador Tineo Arroyo and finishing with Francesco Sini, are still inside the 100-point gap from Longin.
The playoffs will start at the legendary Hockenheimring, Germany on September 21-22. The season Finals at Zolder take place on October 5-6.