It’s time for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Whelen Engineering’s title sponsorship with a record season. The official European NASCAR series will kick off on May 14-15 at the legendary Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain with a record-setting 37 cars entered for the 1st event of the 2022 season.
With 22 countries represented in the field, NWES stands out once again for its varied and international grid. In both championships – EuroNASCAR PRO for professional and semi-professional drivers and EuroNASCAR 2 for semi-professional and amateur drivers – the battles for the titles promise to be thrilling as never before.
Alongside the battle for the European NASCAR title, in EuroNASCAR PRO 7 drivers will hunt for the Junior Trophy for drivers aged 25 and under, while the Challenger Trophy – reserved for silver and bronze drivers in EuroNASCAR’s top tier championship – will have a record grid of 17 participants. In EuroNASCAR 2, all trophies are also setting new records: 15 drivers will compete in the Rookie Trophy, 14 in the Legend Trophy for entrants aged 40 and over and 5 will battle for the Lady Trophy.
Who will become the new EuroNASCAR PRO Champion?
With reigning Champion Loris Hezemans fully committed to the NASCAR Cup Series in the USA, three-time Champion Alon Day is the clear favorite in the clash for the title and will be the lone past EuroNASCAR PRO Champion on the grid. The Israeli will be back with PK Carsport to chase a record-breaking fourth EuroNASCAR championship ring.
The 30-year-old Ashdod-native will face strong competition: 2022 runner-up and Junior Trophy winner Gianmarco Ercoli, former EuroNASCAR 2 Champion Vittorio Ghirelli, veterans such as three-time vice-champion Frederic Gabillon, Nicolo Rocca, Marc Goossens, Alexander Graff, Romain Iannetta and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, but also rising stars like Giorgio Maggi and Tobias Dauenhauer and newcomers the caliber of Lucas Luhr.
In the Junior Trophy, 7 drivers will fight for glory: Giorgio Maggi, Tobias Dauenhauer, Aliyyah Koloc, Gustas Grinbergas, Thomas Krasonis, Jonne Rautjärvi and the series’ youngest driver Leonardo Colavita.
The Challenger Trophy will see a record grid of 17 entries. The winningest driver in the special classification is Henri Tuomaala, who will race for Team Bleekemolen in 2022. The reigning Champion will face former champions Davide Dallara and Dario Caso, EuroNASCAR 2 champion Martin Doubek and a long list of potential winners.
Hot topics in EuroNASCAR 2
Pulling double duties in 2022, Martin Doubek will be on the grid with his #7 Mustang to defend his 2021 title against an explosive mix of newcomers and experienced veterans in the most unpredictable NASCAR Whelen Euro Series championship. Former Champion Ulysse Delsaux, NWES veterans Gil Linster and Advait Deodhar and established competitors like Alberto Panebianco, Leevi Lintukanto and Francesco Garisto will for sure have a say in the 2022 Championship battle, but the season, as always, will deliver plenty of surprises.
With no less than 15 competitors, the Rookie Trophy will also be a wonder bag, with many drivers potentially also aiming at the overall win: newcomers like Liam Hezemans – Loris’ younger brother – Leonardo Colavita, Christoph Lenz, the Koloc twins and YouTube star Alberto Naska are set to surprise thousands of fans at the track and in front of the TVs. Five ladies – reigning and four-time Champion Arianna Casoli, Alina Loibnegger, Yasmeen and Aliyyah Koloc as well as Luli Del Castello – will set a new record in the Lady Trophy ranks.
The EuroNASCAR 2 is not only dedicated to young and promising talents but also to Gentleman drivers. All drivers aged 40 and more are battling for the Legend Trophy. Current Champion Max Lanza stepped up to EuroNASCAR PRO and will hand over the scepter to his successor. Michael Bleekemolen – at the age of 72, the Dutchman is the oldest driver on track – and his teammate Melvin de Groot, former Champions Casoli and Ian Eric Waden, but also the Marko Stipp Motorsport duo of Yevgen Sokolovskiy and Miguel Gomes will give their best to be in the mix. But never count out the strong EuroNASCAR newcomers …
A new record in the making – Alon Day could become the first driver to win 4 EuroNASCAR PRO Championships. The Israeli is back at PK Carsport, the Belgian Powerhouse that helped him win the 2020 NWES Championship.
Another star joins EuroNASCAR – Endurance racing ace Lucas Luhr from Germany will make his EuroNASCAR debut with Racingfuel Motorsports. The Swiss rookie team will rely on Luhr talent and experience to hit the ground running in EuroNASCAR.
Ten race winners on track – Ten different drivers on the EuroNASCAR PRO grid boast wins in one of the two NWES championships. Seven of them won in EuroNASCAR PRO, led by Alon Day with 27 wins.
A new Hezemans arrives – While reigning EuroNASCAR PRO Champion Loris Hezemans races in the NASCAR Cup Series in the US, his younger brother Liam Hezemans will turn his first laps in NASCAR at the wheel of the #50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang.
Buggyra joins NWES – International powerhouse Buggyra ZM Racing will make its NASCAR debut in Valencia fielding two Mustangs for twin sister Aliyyah and Yasmeen Koloc. The two will race head-to-head in EuroNASCAR 2.
Double duties for five – Five drivers will pull double duties in Valencia, racing both EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2: Martin Doubek, Yevgen Sokolovskiy, Leonardo Colavita, Aliyyah Koloc and Yannick Panagiotis.