The crucial phase of the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season is approaching quickly. Belgium’s Circuit Zolder will host rounds 09 and 10 on October 9-10 and decide who will lead the championship entering the double-points Finals in less than one month.
Both NWES championships – EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2 – as well as the regularity-based Club Challenge will be in action at the iconic 4-Km track in the Limburg forest.
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EuroNASCAR PRO: a perfect occasion for many contenders
With Loris Hezemans racing in the US at the Charlotte Roval in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, many title contenders will try to take advantage of the favorable situation to reduce the gap from the points leader, starting with Hezemans’ teammate Vittorio Ghirelli.
The Italian sits in second place in his first EuroNASCAR PRO season and with the momentum he’s carrying, he may very well cut his 25 points deficit once all drivers will drop the worst two results of the regular season ahead of the Vallelunga Finals. Ghirelli’s best result at Zolder came in 2020 with a second place in EuroNASCAR 2 Round 6.
CAAL Racing’s Gianmarco Ercoli is carrying even more momentum into the last event of the regular season thanks to a spectacular win at Grobnik that positioned him 35 points behind Hezemans. The Rome-native has a special feeling with Zolder since 2015, when two wins in a row at the Belgian track gave him the EuroNASCAR 2 title.
Another Italian, Nicolo Rocca, is looking to rebound after a weekend in Croatia he spent outside the top-5. With a third place as his best result in Belgium, the DF1 Racing driver needs to perform at the very best of his career to bridge the gap with Hezemans.
The Zolder weekend may represent the last opportunity for defending champion Alon Day to claw his way back into title contention. The Israeli won in the Limburg forest a record six times in his career and also recently won the track’s traditional 24-Hour race. 60 points separate the CAAL Racing driver from the leader but if someone can overcome such a deficit, that someone is Alon Day.
EuroNASCAR 2: Hendriks teammates the clear favorites
Hendriks Motorsport teammates Tobias Dauenhauer and Martin Doubek won seven of this season’s eight EuroNASCAR 2 races and the two will be the favorites once again at Circuit Zolder, continuing their battle for the points lead. If Dauenhauer won four of the last five races and lost one to Doubek due to a grid procedure infringement, the Czech has a special feeling with Zolder after winning back-to-back races at the Belgian track in 2020.
Advait Deodhar, who won at Brands Hatch for CAAL Racing, is looking to rebound from a complicated Round 08 at Grobnik and as often happens however, the EuroNASCAR 2 championship could very well feature a first-time winner.
Vladimiros Tziortzis, Alberto Panebianco, Justin Kunz have all shown great potential during the season and Francesco Garisto looks poised to top the podium finish he earned at Zolder in 2020, so keep your eyes open for a surprise winner this weekend.
All races of the October 9-10 NASCAR GP Belgium will be broadcasted on the EuroNASCAR social media platforms – Youtube, Facebook and Twitch – as well as on the NWES app and on Motorsport.tv.
Stienes Longin returns – Belgian ace Stienes Longin will return to the track where he won his maiden EuroNASCAR PRO race. The Belgian will bring back to the NWES grid the #11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro
Lemarie to drive the #5 EuroNASCAR FJ – Patrick Lemarie will sub for Jacques Villeneuve on the #5 Academy Motorsport / Alex Caffi Motorsport EuroNASCAR FJ, allowing Simon Pilate to pull double duties on the #66 DF1 Racing Camaro.
One point separates top two Challengers – A single point separates the top two drivers in the Challenger Trophy ahead of the final event of the regular season. Marko Stipp Motorsport’s Yevgen Sokolovskiy leads DF1 Racing’s Henri Tuomaala in a battle that keeps getting hotter.
Panebianco with a comfortable lead among rookies – Not Only Motorsport driver Alberto Panebianco holds a comfortable 48-point lead in the Rookie Trophy over Leevi Lintukanto. Miguel Gomes is third, a further 5 points back.
It’s Lanza vs. Sokolovskiy in the Legend Trophy – Eight points separate Legend Trophy leader Max Lanza and runner-up Yevgen Sokolovskiy, sitting respectively 11th and 12th in the overall points standings. Ian Eric Waden is third with a 59 points gap to fill.
Loibnegger and Casoli resume the Lady Trophy battle – With Arianna Casoli returning to the NWES grid in Zolder, the battle for the Lady Trophy will resume with Alina Loibnegger in the lead by 13 points over the Italian.
Featured Image Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard