Alberto Naska is the sensation of the 2022 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season. The Italian is not only the best Rookie Trophy driver so far but also leads the overall EuroNASCAR 2 Championship by 46 points on Liam Hezemans, another strong rookie on the grid. The CAAL Racing driver extended his lead in the overall standings with a perfect sweep at Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic. It was the first time in his career that Naska took the win in both races in the same race weekend.
The driver of the #88 Chevrolet Camaro has five race wins on his tally so far and impressed with his consistency. Liam Hezemans, who had a nightmare of a weekend in the Czech Republic, follows with two wins in second, but overcoming a 46-gap will not be easy for the younger brother of Loris Hezemans – a two-time EuroNASCAR Champion and current NASCAR Cup Series driver.
With the regular season finale up next at Circuit Zolder on October 8-9, the drivers will hit a crucial point in 2022: each one of them will drop the two worst results of the regular season after the NASCAR GP Belgium, creating the potential for a dramatic EuroNASCAR Finals weekend at Automotodrom Grobnik on October 29-30.
Despite having two strong rookies at the top of the standings, experience may play a key role with reigning EuroNASCAR 2 Champion Martin Doubek and Vladimiros Tziortzis lurking in third and fourth, ready to strike back and have a say in the 2022 title race. Naska will for sure give his best at Circuit Zolder, another new track for the Italian, to remain in the championship lead and in the best position for the double-points Grobnik event.
“Two wins in a row! I wasn’t expecting that considering how the weekend started at Most with the problems we had with the setup of the car,” said Naska about his exploit in the Czech Republic. “At the end of Sunday’s race I had some issues with the throttle, it got stuck at around 20 percent, so it was hard to brake, get the car around the corner and shift. I panicked and thought that may be the end for me. I finished the race and kept pushing but I don’t know how. The team did an incredible job and I also performed very well, so I’m very happy with the results.”
Closing the Rookie Trophy top-3 is Speedhouse’s Paul Jouffreau in fifth overall. The young Frenchman was signed by NWES veteran and team manager Lucas Lasserre for a long term plan to conquer the EuroNASCAR 2 title in the coming years. With a lot of advice from Lassere and a steep learning curve, Jouffreau improves race by race and will for sure want to score his second NASCAR Whelen Euro Series podium finish after Vallelunga, Italy.
Patrick Schober is fourth in the Rookie Trophy standings and ninth overall. The Austrian, who was born in Spain and grew up in Slovakia, experienced a solid season so far with four top-10 results. Luli Del Castello follows in fifth and rounds out the Rookie Trophy top-5, while Tuomas Pontinen is sixth ahead of Aliyyah Koloc and Kasparas Vingilis. Del Castello and Koloc will also battle for glory in the Lady Trophy.