The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will return to Germany for the first time since 2019 and with the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, NASCAR’s official European championship has found a new home for the NASCAR GP Germany near the city of Magdeburg. The fifth event of 2023 marks the regular season finale, a crucial time of the season when all drivers will drop their two worst results after rounds 9 & 10 at the 3.696-kilometer track, which will host a NASCAR race for the first time since it opened in 1997. Thousands of NASCAR fans are expected to make the return to Germany an American Fest that no motorsports enthusiast should miss.
The 14 corners of the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben are tricky, but all the drivers who have tested the German circuit expect exciting races, as the track layout offers plenty of overtaking opportunities. The entire EuroNASCAR grid is looking forward to bringing the V8 roar of the NWES cars back to Germany, and with the regular season as the last chance to score important points before the double-point EuroNASCAR Finals at Circuit Zolder in October, tempers will be running high. In both championships, four drivers have emerged as title contenders, but the NASCAR GP Germany could provide some surprises.
The deck has been shuffled and the battle for the EuroNASCAR PRO championship is on. Four drivers have emerged as title contenders and it’s still Gianmarco Ercoli who leads the overall standings. The CAAL Racing driver struggled at the Autodrom Most and saw his comfortable lead melt away after a 15th and fifth place finish in the Czech Republic. The Rome native holds a two-point lead over Speedhouse driver-owner Lucas Lasserre of France. The Pau native was on a six consecutive top-5 finishes streak since Brands Hatch, but that streak ended when Lasserre bet on rain tires on Sunday at Most on a drying track.
The third title contender is Vittorio Ghirelli, who made the turn-around in July in Italy with his first win of the season. The Team Bleekemolen driver hit trouble at the beginning of the year, but now he has the consistency to fight for the championship. The race driver from Fasano won in the Czech Republic on Saturday and finished second on Sunday. He’s only seven points behind Ercoli in the overall standings and will be looking to take the lead at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. The fourth driver in the battle is two-time NWES champion Anthony Kumpen, who’s 19 points down to Ercoli. While still having to win a race in 2023, the PK Carsport driver from Belgium knows what it takes to win the championship and cannot be taken off the list.
In the Junior Trophy, 2018 EuroNASCAR 2 champion Ulysse Delsaux took the lead in fifth place overall. The Frenchman, who drives for Speedhouse, leads double-duty driver Vladimiros Tziortzis by just one point, while reigning EuroNASCAR 2 champion Liam Hezemans completes the top-3. In the Challenger Trophy, Fabrizio Armetta holds a comfortable lead over Riccardo Romagnoli and Max Lanza as the best elite amateur driver in EuroNASCAR PRO so far in the 2023 season. At the NASCAR GP Germany, a NASCAR Xfinity Series and Truck Series driver, Ryan Vargas, will take on the European NASCAR elite for the first time with debuting 3F Racing of Germany, a team with the ambition of making its way into the NASCAR Cup Series.
As in EuroNASCAR PRO, four drivers have impressed so far in EuroNASCAR 2, making the championship battle a must-see. Vladimiros Tziortzis dominated the first part of the 2023 season with five wins so far, but any small mistake or technical issue can cost a driver dearly. The Cypriot in the Academy / Alex Caffi Motorsport colors was forced to park his car in Sunday’s EuroNASCAR 2 race at Autodrom Most and his pursuers took advantage to close the gap in the standings. 2023 phenomenon Paul Jouffreau was a two-time runner-up in the Czech Republic and the RDV Competition driver from France cut Tziortzis’ lead to just three points.
2022 EuroNASCAR 2 runner-up Alberto Naska follows in third in his #54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet Camaro. The Italian was supposed to be the man to beat after a strong debut season, but now the inspirational YouTube star has found himself in a new role as a pursuer. Still, Naska sits just 6 points behind the leader and has a chance to win his first international racing championship. “Mr. Consistency” Gil Linster cannot be ruled out of the championship fight, as the Luxembourger finished in the top-5 in all races of the 2023 NWES season so far. Fourth place is both a curse and a blessing for the Hendriks Motorsport driver, as Linster has already finished fourth six times. He is 19 points behind Tziortzis at the top of the standings.
Thomas Dombrowski has dominated the Rookie Trophy so far, but the Marko Stipp Motorsport duo of Jack Davidson and Nick Schneider are doing their best to catch up with the Frenchman. In the Legend Trophy, Claudio Cappelli leads Michael Bleekemolen and Riccardo Romagnoli, while Arianna Casoli holds the Lady Trophy lead, miles ahead of Alina Loibnegger and Stefani Mogorovic.
US NASCAR star visits Germany – Ryan Vargas and 3F Racing will make their EuroNASCAR debut and bring the US NASCAR flair to Europe.
Japan back on the grid – After competing in Valencia, Kenko Miura will be back on the grid bringing his Team Japan Needs24 organization to Germany.
Three teams celebrate their home race – Marko Stipp Motorsport, Bremotion and 3F Racing are looking forward to their home race at Oschersleben, the first NASCAR GP Germany since 2019.
Dominique Schaak ready for home race debut – Bremotion signed the GT ace for the team’s home race. For the German, his NASCAR debut is a childhood dream come true.
Another Ercoli ready to race – Mario Ercoli will make his EuroNASCAR 2 debut and the 16-year-old brother of Gianmarco will equal Leonardo Colavita’s age record on Saturday.
Several German drivers on the grid – NWES debutant Dominique Schaak, NWES veteran Matthias Hauer and rookie Nick Schneider will compete in their home race, while Tobias Dauenhauer wears the German colors in EuroNASCAR PRO.
Featured image by NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Bart Dehaese