The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series was founded in 2009 and became the official European NASCAR Championship in 2012. Since then, the championship has developed into one of the most exciting and fast-growing touring car series in Europe. A key to success is the championship’s structure with low barriers to enter and cost-effective solutions to provide drivers from around the world a great amount of seat time and a spectacular environment to race in all parts of Europe.
General structure: driver ratings
There are two main championships in the world of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series: EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2. The key fact is that two drivers share the exact same car in those two separated championships dedicated to different kinds of drivers. While EuroNASCAR PRO is open to all drivers who have a high skill level, EuroNASCAR 2 is made for young talents and gentlemen drivers. All drivers have to submit an international racing licence to enter EuroNASCAR. NWES’ series organizer TeamFJ rates the drivers in the three different categories:
GOLD: Professional, semi-professional or amateur drivers who distinguished themselves in international or national championships.
SILVER: Amateur drivers who show high level performances and achievements.
BRONZE: Amateur drivers not satisfying the criteria of gold and silver categories.
Gold-rated drivers are allowed to only compete in EuroNASCAR PRO. The top tier championship is also open to silver and bronze drivers if they show the necessary pace to keep up with the rest of the field. The EuroNASCAR 2 Championship is open to bronze and silver drivers only and constitutes the home for promising youngsters and amateur drivers willing to experience the “Pure Racing” character of NASCAR in Europe.
General structure: a typical race weekend
A NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season consists of six events in Europe. During a race weekend, four races are held, two for each Championship. The weekend starts with Free Practice on Friday in the afternoon with a total of four 30-minutes sessions – two for each category. Saturday morning is dedicated to Qualifying: EuroNASCAR PRO features a 15-minute session followed by an exciting 5-minute Superpole session for the ten quickest drivers. A 20-minute timed session is on the card for EuroNASCAR 2.
In the early afternoon local time, the EuroNASCAR PRO will be in action with its first race of the weekend. The EuroNASCAR 2 drivers will hit the track in late afternoon.
After warm-up on Sunday, the EuroNASCAR 2 category will open the final day of pure EuroNASCAR racing. The grids of Sunday’s races are determined by the fastest laps set Saturday’s races. The second EuroNASCAR PRO race in the early afternoon closes a spectacular weekend with more 270 kilometers of Pure Racing and more than five hours of EuroNASCAR action on track. With American-themed festivals surrounding the races, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series offers action and entertainment for the whole family.
General structure: points system and championship format
The NWES points structure is based on the American NASCAR system. With all drivers scoring points in the race, exciting battles for position are guaranteed. The winner of a race gets 40 points, while the second place driver collects 35. From then on, each position awards one point less. For example, the 20th placed driver still gets 17 points. The driver with the most position gained during a race receives a total four bonus points. During the finals double points are awarded for each race – including double bonus points.
A EuroNASCAR PRO race has a length of about 75 kilometers, while the EuroNASCAR 2 drivers have to complete about 60 kilometers. A season consists of 6 events with 2 races in each championship per weekend. In a single category twelve races are held to find the Champion. Round 10 of 12 closes the regular season after which drivers are allowed to drop their two worst results. With their 8 best results out of ten races, competitors enter the double-points awarding finals. The driver who collects the most points over the course of the season is the new champion.
In EuroNASCAR PRO, it’s all about becoming the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Champion and therefore European NASCAR Champion. The winner of the overall championship will go down in history and be awarded a precious championship ring. The best driver is also allowed to raise the unique Tijey Trophy into the air at the end of the season. Each NWES Champion also has a special place in the NASCAR Hall Of Fame inside the Whelen Hall Of Champions.
The EuroNASCAR PRO features two special classifications: the Challenger Trophy and the Junior Trophy. The Challenger Trophy is dedicated to bronze and silver drivers racing in the top division of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. The Challenger Trophy driver with the most points on his account at the end of the season, is the special classification’s champion. The Junior Trophy is dedicated to drivers aged 25 and under in EuroNASCAR PRO with one exception: winning the Junior Trophy makes the champion ineligible for the next season.
The EuroNASCAR 2 Championship is the home for talented youngsters and ambitious gentlemen drivers from around the world. By topping the overall classification, EuroNASCAR 2 drivers lay the perfect foundation to become a top driver in the world of the NWES. The Champion is allowed to lift the Tijey Championship Trophy in the air after topping the ranks of a twelve-race season and receives a prestigious championship ring.
The EuroNASCAR 2 Championship offers three special classifications: the Rookie Trophy, the Legend Trophy and the Lady Trophy. Newcomers in EuroNASCAR are eligible for the Rookie Trophy, while drivers aged 40 and more fight for honors in the Legend Trophy. Female drivers battle for the Lady Trophy.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series offers the perfect platform for auto racing newcomers and race car drivers, who want to experience the pure V8 beasts in a friendly environment: the Club Challenge. The regularity based challenge takes place on Friday morning and consists of three 30-minute sessions. After one Free Practice session, the drivers pick a reference time for the two subsequent timed sessions. The competitor who gets closest to his reference time and collects the least penalty points for time deviations on the chosen time is the winner.
The same points system as in the EuroNASCAR Championships is in place. The first placed driver gets 40 points, the second placed driver 35, the third placed driver 34 and so on. There are no bonus points awarded in the Club Challenge. The Club Challenge season consists of five race days on selected NASCAR Whelen Euro Series events. Very successful drivers like EuroNASCAR 2 race winner Advait Deodhar and Lady Trophy contender Alina Loibnegger made their first steps in EuroNASCAR racing before stepping up into the competitive Championships.
While racing in their own championship, drivers who share one car also have a common goal: to win the Team Championship. Different from European auto racing, NASCAR counts every car as its own team. Therefore if a racing outfit fields 2 cars they are opponents in the Team Championship classification that combines EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2.
The EuroNASCAR PRO driver collects his or her points in the top tier championship but those markers also go into account of the Team Championship. The same applies to the EuroNASCAR 2 contestant, so points from both drivers of the same car are summed up. The duo that scores the most points for their car wins the Team Championship in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.