Michael Bleekemolen and Melvin de Groot set for a tight battle between the Team Bleekemolen teammates

After six championship races and a special event at Raceway Venray, the 2024 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series field will enjoy a nine-week summer break to recharge their batteries and prepare for the most important period of the season. Michael Bleekemolen leads the Legend Trophy for drivers aged 40 and more from his teammate and reigning class champion Melvin de Groot. Only ten points separate the two Dutchmen in the overall standings, with Bleekemolen in eighth place and de Groot in tenth. Claudio Cappelli is hunting Team Bleekemolen’s drivers after he was very unlucky in the first half of the season.

Bleekemolen is the oldest driver at 74, but he has never lost his pace in a EuroNASCAR car. The Dutchman and mastermind behind Team Bleekemolen has yet to score a class win, but his consistency has been key to heading into the summer break with a ten-point lead in the class standings. The former Formula One driver is relishing every second on track in EuroNASCAR’s most unpredictable division as he chases the first Legend Trophy title of his career.

Second is de Groot, the reigning Legend Trophy champion. The Dutch giant has been unlucky in the first three race weekends so far, but has still made good progress with two class wins and an overall podium finish of third in Italy. De Groot is just one win shy of Eric de Doncker’s all-time record of 17 Legend Trophy race wins and could write EuroNASCAR history in the second half of the season. Having won two consecutive class titles, he could also tie de Doncker’s record of three consecutive overall class victories.

Cappelli cannot be left out of the battle as the Italian tries to close the gap after experiencing a lot of bad luck in the 2024 NWES season. The Academy / Alex Caffi Motorsport driver had the pace to run and finish in the top-5 in all of the races, but incidents in the first half of the season caused him to drop down the order. A strong runner-up finish at the Venray oval showed the true potential of the man with the famous beard and the Italian is eager to claim the first major title of his EuroNASCAR career.

He’s followed by Roberto Benedetti, who is suffering from a wrist injury sustained in a crash at Brands Hatch. The CAAL Racing driver will probably miss the Autodrom Most round after the summer break and is hoping to make his return for the Finals at Zolder. Sven van Laere follows in fifth ahead of Arianna Casoli, who’s also leading the Lady Trophy with a perfect sweep so far. Kenko Miura, Giovanni Faraonio, Alain Grand and Eric Quintal round out the Legend Trophy standings. With the regular season finale in the Czech Republic next on the schedule, all riders have two more races to complete before they drop their worst points score of the first half of the season. The final two playoff events in Germany and Belgium will award double points towards the championship standings.

NWES PR