In September 2020, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and Italian manufacturer Tijey presented their new EuroNASCAR PRO Championship Trophy. Alon Day and Loris Hezemans were the two drivers to raise the 9.2 kilogram beauty in the air after the final rounds of the NWES season 2020 and 2021. For the 2022 season, Tijey presented a new stunning version of the EuroNASCAR Trophy, highlighted by red side supports.
With a height of 700 millimeters and a 235 millimeter base diameter, the Tijey trophy requires ten hours of machining to produce a brilliant piece of art out of AT6082 T6 Aluminum. With a weight of 9.2 kilogram to raise towards the sky, the upcoming EuroNASCAR PRO champion needs some strength in his arms to lift the trophy in the air. Grabbing the Tijey Trophy is the main goal and dream of all professional drivers in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series but it takes hard work and a perfect season to top the standings.
The details of the Tijey Trophy are magnificent: Race tracks adorn the main part of the Trophy and the top, while racing parts like a classic NASCAR rim form the base of the cup. Sustainability plays an important role in Tijey’s business model and therefore all waste parts of aluminum were recycled and used for other products from the Italian company. One thing is sure: the Trophy is the perfect fit for the European NASCAR champion.
“If you become the EuroNASCAR PRO champion, you have to get a really special trophy,” said NWES CEO and president Jerome Galpin during the NASCAR GP Italy at Autodromo di Vallelunga. “This is just a beautiful piece of industry and art. We are really proud about what Tijey created here for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and its champion.”
Tijey representative Luca Saladino added: “The secret behind the trophy is that it’s inspired by racing car parts and race tracks. Our business is to build racing parts and our goal is to expand and widen our portfolio. This is a special trophy for a very special champion. It’s a trophy for eternity, indestructible and strong like the competition in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.”
Tijey also provides another unique trophy to reward the EuroNASCAR 2 Champion, inspired by it’s bigger EuroNASCAR PRO counterpart.
The history of champions
Since NASCAR joined Europe in 2012, four different drivers made it to the top of the standings in EuroNASCAR PRO: Alon Day and Ander Vilarino have three championship rings each, Anthony Kumpen and Loris Hezemans follow with two titles each. Beside creating the trophy, Tijey also gifts the champion with a unique championship ring. Even on a race weekend, there is always a ringto hunt for: The Tijey Fastest Driver Award is awarding another ring for the best EuroNASCAR PRO driver of the weekend.
The first ever official European NASCAR champion was the Spaniard Ander Vilarino in 2012. The second winningest driver in NWES history set the bar high in 2013, when he managed to defend his title and write history with a record streak of six consecutive wins. But the competition never sleeps: in 2014 it was Anthony Kumpen’s time to shine when he beat Vilarino in the championship race to become the second EuroNASCAR PRO champion in history.
One season later, Vilarino raised his game and struck back with his third and until now last championship win of his career. The Spaniard is still on top of the record list, but he shares first place with a driver who started his championship run in 2017. After Kumpen grabbed his second championship win in 2016, Day stepped on the stage to begin a historic career in EuroNASCAR. The Israeli took his maiden championship in 2017 to become the third different EuroNASCAR PRO king in history.
A look at the recent years
He defended his title in 2018, becoming the second driver to win back-to-back titles. The fourth champion to write his name in the history books was Loris Hezemans in 2019. The Dutchman made a strong debut in EuroNASCAR in 2018 and made it to the top in his second season.
In a Corona shortened 2020 season, Day first became the winningest driver in EuroNASCAR PRO and then tied Vilarino’s record of three championship wins. One year later, Hezemans fought his way back to the top to become the most recent EuroNASCAR PRO champion in 2021.
There are still some big names in the official European NASCAR Championship who still want to grab a hand on the beautiful Tijey Trophy: Gianmarco Ercoli was EuroNASCAR 2 champion in 2015 and has become a true title contender over the past years. Frederic Gabillon was three times runner-up in his career and is poised to make the final step onto the top of the standings. Vittorio Ghirelli, Alexander Graff and Giorgio Maggi are also drivers hungry for more and with their recent results, they proved to be in contention for the title.