On October 30-31, the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Series season will culminate in the Finals at Autodromo di Vallelunga. In both championships, EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2, the battles for the Trophies are on. The standings in special classifications are tight and promise thrilling races under the Italian sun. While the Junior Trophy and the Challenger Trophy are part of EuroNASCAR PRO, the Rookie Trophy, the Legend Trophy and the Lady Trophy are on the line in EuroNASCAR 2. It’s money time!
EuroNASCAR PRO: Junior Trophy
Gianmarco Ercoli is not only a contender for the overall championship win but also the leader of the Junior Trophy for drivers aged 25 and under. The CAAL Racing driver from Rome will take on his home race at Vallelunga – the track located only 30 minutes North of Italy’s capital city. In 2020, Ercoli scored a strong win at the 4-km circuit and therefore is the favorite to win the Junior Trophy after winning the classification six times this year and 16 times in his career – an all-time record.
He also has a reassuring 34-point advantage on Giorgio Maggi from Switzerland. The Hendriks Motorsport driver was runner-up in the 2019 EuroNASCAR 2 season and stepped into the premier class of European NASCAR racing in 2020. The Hergiswil native topped the Junior Trophy standings at Circuit Zolder twice and put a lot of pressure on Ercoli, who wants to win both: the special classification and the EuroNASCAR PRO championship. RDV Competition’s Ulysse Delsaux follows in third with a 53-point deficit on the leader.
EuroNASCAR PRO: Challenger Trophy
Only 10 points separate the top-3 drivers of the Challenger Trophy – the special classification for bronze and silver drivers in EuroNASCAR PRO. DF1 Racing / Iceboys’ Henri Tuomaala is on top of the standings with 189 points on his account and four trophy wins this season. The Finn already won the Challenger Trophy in 2019 and has all it takes to beat the competition at Vallelunga. But the battle is so tight, that it’s almost impossible to predict the outcome.
2020 Challenger Trophy champion Davide Dallara sits in second just 6 points shy of Tuomaala. The Not Only Motorsport driver from Italy just needs to cross the finish line 4 positions ahead of the Finn in one race to overtake the special classification’s leader. Marko Stipp Motorsport’s Yevgen Sokolovskiy is third and also part of the Challenger Trophy battle. The Ukrainian has a 10-point deficit on Tuomaala and all chances of winning his first title in EuroNASCAR.
EuroNASCAR 2: Rookie Trophy
The Rookie Trophy for newcomers in the EuroNASCAR 2 championship is led by Alberto Panebianco. The Not Only Motorsport driver from Italy already left a mark in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series talent factory. Panebianco is tied with Simon Pilate in points in seventh and has a solid lead on his chaser in the special classification after winning it four times this season.
DF1 Racing / Iceboys’ Leevi Lintukanto follows in second, 41 points shy of Panebianco. The Finn has already shown his great talent in the 2021 NWES season by finishing inside the top-5 once and 3 times in the top-10. Panebianco ended up inside the top-5 twice in comparison. Lintukanto needs a perfect weekend to push the Italian from the throne and become the best rookie on the 2021 EuroNASCAR grid. Marko Stipp Motorsport’s Miguel Gomes has a 127-point deficit on Panebianco and sits in third.
EuroNASCAR 2: Legend Trophy
12 points separate the top-2 of the Legend Trophy standings for drivers aged 40 and more. Massimiliano “Max” Lanza is on top of the classification with 221 points in his pockets. The Italian CAAL Racing driver never won a title in EuroNASCAR and is keen to stay on top of the standings at his home race in Vallelunga. Lanza has to beat Sokolovskiy, who’s pulling double duties in the 2021 season by competing in EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2.
Is the extra track time an advantage for the Ukrainian or will be more tired due to the additional laps at the Finals? Sokolovskiy handled the extra load quite well so far and that’s why he’s right at Lanza’s back bumper when the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series heads to Italy for the final races of the 2021 season. Sokolovskiy’s teammate Gomes sits in third, 117 shy of Lanza in top of the Legend Trophy.
EuroNASCAR 2: Lady Trophy
Will the NWES crown a new Lady Trophy winner or will it be the third title for a true NWES veteran? In the Lady Trophy for female drivers in EuroNASCAR 2, CAAL Racing’s two-time Lady Trophy winner Arianna Casoli faces Solaris Motorsport’s NWES rookie Alina Loibnegger from Austria. The Italian won the special classification in 2015 and 2019 and may become the winningest Lady Trophy driver with three titles under her belt.
The pair is separated by 25 points and that’s why not a single mistake is allowed to happen in the final to EuroNASCAR 2 races of 2021. Casoli and Loibnegger had a tremendous battle for the Lady Trophy win at Circuit Zolder where both were bumper to bumper and door handle to door handle for several laps. Loibnegger made the pass on the straight before the Jacky Ickx Chicane, while Casoli had to stop her car due to technical issues just a few turns later.
The 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Finals will take place on October 30-31 at Autodromo di Vallelunga in Italy. Qualifying and all races will be broadcasted live on EuroNASCAR’s platforms – YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, NWES App – and Motorsport.tv.