Eight points separated the top-3 in the premier championship of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series before the grand finale at Automotodrom Grobnik in Croatia. Alon Day had his hands full defending the attacks brought by Gianmarco Ercoli (-6 points) and Alexander Graff (-8 points), but the winningest driver in NWES history was able to conquer his record-breaking fourth EuroNASCAR PRO title with PK Carsport. Still, Graff and Ercoli had a strong season and showed a lot of potential for the coming 2023 season.
In the end, it was Graff who finished second overall thanks to his consistency. The Speedhouse driver had his breakthrough in June at the Indy Circuit of Brands Hatch in Great Britain, where he pulled off his maiden NASCAR race win with a strong run on his #64 Ford Mustang. Four podiums, seven top-5 finishes and one pole position in twelve races made the Swede from Uppsala a fierce title contender in the 2022 season. Graff overtook Ercoli in the very last race of the championship to take second in the overall standings.
“First of all I’m very happy about my comeback in the 2022 NWES season with my friend Lucas Lasserre and the Speedhouse team,” said Graff. “To come back and place the car on the pole at the start of the season was mega! I also crossed out another task from my own checklist with finishing on the podium in the first race of the season. The next big step made a dream come true: the victory at Brands Hatch! Four podiums in twelve races and a second place in the overall standings were almost better than we could ever imagine. As a race car driver you want to win and my next goal in NWES is to win the championship and grab the Tijey championship trophy.”
Ercoli was already one of the closest title contenders back in 2021 against Loris Hezemans. The Italian ended up second that year, only three points shy of the Dutchman. In 2022, the CAAL Racing driver kept his championship hopes alive until the penultimate lap of the last race. His championship winning dream collapsed when the driver of the #54 Chevrolet Camaro made contact with Giorgio Maggi and was shuffled down the order after a spin. Freshly crowned champion Day is sure that Ercoli’s time will come in the future. The Rome native has all it takes to become a EuroNASCAR PRO Champion.
“It was a phenomenal season with a nice fight for the title,” said Ercoli, the 2015 EuroNASCAR 2 Champion. “The battle between me and Alon was exciting and it was fun racing against such a strong rival in every race of the season. We were aware after three retirements that it was difficult to win the championship but we tried until the very last second. I’m happy with the work of the whole CAAL Racing team. The engineers and team principals invested a lot of work to get this result and we managed to be among the fastest in every race. I also thank my sponsors for the great support and now we are working on next year to have even more fun. Only bad luck stopped me from making my biggest dream come true.”
Graff and Ercoli want to return to EuroNASCAR in 2023 and are already preparing to build up a strong campaign again. It is certain that both drivers will give their best to be among the title contenders again and win their maiden EuroNASCAR PRO Championship Ring. After the spectacular All-Star Race on ice in Rovaniemi, Finland, on March 4-5 the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season will kick off on May 6-7 at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Spain.