For the ninth time, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will headline the hugely popular American SpeedFest this weekend at the historic Brands Hatch Indy Circuit. Four races – two in EuroNASCAR PRO and two in EuroNASCAR 2 – will highlight the NASCAR GP UK and delight the British NASCAR fans. The main attraction of an action-packed weekend, the official European NASCAR Championship will bring the largest grid in history to the Indy Circuit to crown the King and the Prince of Brands Hatch.
The Brands Hatch Indy Circuit measures 1.944 kilometers and features 6 corners – four of which are right-sided – alongside several gradient changes and one of the most iconic turns in all of motorsports: Paddock Hill Bend. Brands Hatch hosted 36 races across the two NASCAR Whelen Euro Series championships since 2012, earning a place among the best events on the EuroNASCAR calendar.
A record field of 35 cars and 62 drivers entered the British event in representation of 16 teams and 22 countries.
EuroNASCAR PRO: many pretenders, only one spot on the throne
The season opener at Circuit Ricardo Tormo was the beginning of what will likely sit among the closest EuroNASCAR PRO championship battles in history. With Nicolo Rocca and Alon Day splitting the wins in Spain and being separated by just one point at the top of the standings, the two NWES veterans started the season on the right foot and it will be up to the rest of the field to catch them.
While Rocca has always been competitive around Brands Hatch, he never visited Victory Lane at the British venue. Day, on the other hand, counts four victories at Brands and is just one win shy of all-time leader Ander Vilarino.
But there are many drivers who are looking for their first win of the season to put their names on the championship contenders list. First of them Alexander Graff, who enters the event third in points. The Swede grabbed his maiden EuroNASCAR Pole Award and his first career podium finish in EuroNASCAR PRO in Spain and is poised to make a further step forward.
Two-time EuroNASCAR 2 runner-up Tobias Dauenhauer debuted in EuroNASCAR PRO with a bang in Valencia, climbing on the podium in the first race of the Spanish weekend, but unfortunately the German will have to sit on the sideline due to a positive COVID test. He is currently third with a 10-point gap from Rocca, while the leading Challenger Trophy contender, CAAL Racing driver Max Lanza, closes the top-5 after a phenomenal NASCAR GP Spain in which he completed 23 overtakes in one race.
Former Brands Hatch winners Frederic Gabillon and Romain Iannetta are sixth and seventh respectively, both willing to raise their game in the UK and fight for podium positions. Reigning EuroNASCAR 2 Champion and Challenger Trophy driver Martin Doubek is eighth ahead of Junior Trophy youngsters Gustas Grinbergas and Giorgio Maggi, who complete the top-10.
EuroNASCAR 2: will someone join Naska and Tziortzis?
Three weeks ago in Spain, Alberto Naska did way more than surprise the NWES paddock and his many fans in Italy. He accomplished a rare feat by winning his maiden NASCAR race in his first NWES event as only Tobias Dauenhauer, Giorgio Maggi, Lasse Soerensen and Neal Van Vaerenbergh did in the past. The Italian is leading the championship standings with a six-point advantage on reigning champion Martin Doubek and the Rookie Trophy as well.
Another first time winner – Academy Motorsport / Alex Caffi Motorsport’s Vladimiros Tziortzis – is set to challenge for the lead in the EuroNASCAR 2 Championship. The Cypriot is only ninth points behind Naska and will surely try to build on the strong form he showed at Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
With a consistent debut event in Spain, Liam Hezemans, the younger brother of reigning EuroNASCAR PRO Champion Loris Hezemans looks poised to move up the ranks. The Dutchman is quickly learning the nuances of car racing and may soon take a further step in performance and challenge for the win, maybe already at Brands Hatch Circuit.
Former EuroNASCAR 2 Champion Ulysse Delsaux and NWES veteran Gil Linster close the top-5 ahead of Speedhouse’s Paul Jouffreau, who also was very consistent after stepping up from the Club Challenge and now holds the second place in the Rookie Trophy ranks. He is followed by the Legend Trophy leader Melvin the Groot de Groot at the wheel of the #69 Team Bleekemolen Ford Mustang. Leonardo Colavita, the youngest driver to ever debut in EuroNASCAR and Teo Calvet round out the top-10.
British driver to debut on home soil – Matthew Ellis will join Racingfuel Motorsports to make his EuroNASCAR PRO debut on the #58 Camaro. The Brit lives just ten minutes away from the track and knows the Indy Circuit better than the pockets of his jeans.
Brands Hatch a special place for Ercoli – Gianmarco Ercoli loves the Indy Circuit, the place where he earned his first EuroNASCAR PRO win in 2018. Will Brands serve as a springboard for the Italian to jump back to the top of the standings?
Eivind Brynildsen to bring Norway to the grid – After Petter Solberg in the Race of Champions, another Norwegian driver will pilot a EuroNASCAR car in competition. Eivind Brynildsen will drive the #40 Speedhouse car.
A new winner guaranteed – Unpredictability is always the name of the game in EuroNASCAR 2. No driver on the grid has ever won at Brands Hatch, who is going to be the new one to add to the list?
An odd program for Cappelli – Claudio Remigio Cappelli will take on an odd program at Brands Hatch. The Italian will drive the #16 Mustang in EuroNASCAR PRO and #17 Shadow in EuroNASCAR 2, something that never happened before.
Lady Trophy battle on fire – Two new drivers added their name to the list of the Lady Trophy winners: Aliyyah Koloc and Luli Del Castello. Del Castello also leads the trophy’s classification entering the Brands Hatch weekend.