Consistency is key: No room for mistakes in the 2023 EuroNASCAR PRO season

The 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season has proven to be one of the closest in history so far, thanks to a pair of exciting race weekends in Spain and the United Kingdom. In EuroNASCAR PRO, a single mistake can burst the bubble of a title contender as one wrong decision will see you frozen out of the points battle. While Gianmarco Ercoli has bounced back from a puncture suffered in Valencia after he made contact with Liam Hezemans, the latter is still struggling to keep up with the leaders despite a promising pace. 

Hezemans started his season with a bang. The 2022 EuroNASCAR 2 Champion took his first EuroNASCAR PRO win under the Spanish sun, but a crash with Ercoli saw the Dutchman drop back in the standings in the #50 Hendriks Motorsport Toyota Camry. Another DNF due to a power steering issue at the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit left Hezemans eleventh in the standings, 35 points behind Ercoli. One win and one third place out of four races is not enough to keep up with the leaders in EuroNASCAR PRO, as consistency is key in the championship. 

Another driver looking to work his way back up the standings is Vladimiros Tziortzis. The Cypriot has won every race so far in EuroNASCAR 2, but in Europe’s elite NASCAR championship, the Academy / Alex Caffi Motorsport driver has had his share of struggles. He clashed with Vittorio Ghirelli on the last lap of Race 2 at Valencia, and retired in the opening lap of Race 1 at Brands Hatch. However, one top-5 and two top-10 finishes puts Tziortzis level on points with Hezemans, while other drivers flew under the radar but collected massive points from the first four of twelve rounds of the 2023 NWES season.

Ercoli is leading the championship because he struck back after the crash in Valencia. The driver of the #54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet won both races in Brands Hatch and took the championship lead, while Valencia race winner Lucas Lasserre was relegated down to second after two top-10 and one top-5 finish in the UK. The Speedhouse driver and owner is a true NWES veteran, and knows exactly what it takes to stay in the title battle until the very last race of the season. Maximizing the results at the wheel of the #64 Ford Mustang and taking advantage of competitors’ mistakes are Lasserre’s goals to stay in the mix. 

A two-time EuroNASCAR Champion is sitting in third: Anthony Kumpen. The Belgian racer and PK Carsport team manager wants to find his way back into Victory Lane, but the experienced driver knows how important it is to finish inside the top-5 in every race to become a serious title contender. After all, his first EuroNASCAR title in 2014 was earned through consistency: He only won the penultimate race of the season, but he finished every race inside the top-10. Four top-10 and three top-5 results so far underline Kumpen’s mindset to always have the big picture in focus. While Lasserre is only four points down on Ercoli, Kumpen has a gap of six points to the leader. 

Under the radar – but always there if big points are on the line – is Marc Goossens. The CAAL Racing driver is fourth in the standings, only 22 points behind Ercoli, while the 2021 EuroNASCAR 2 Champion Martin Doubek completes the top-5. He’s equal on points with Vittorio Ghirelli, another driver who struggled two times this season. In Valencia, the Italian made contact with Tziortzis in the closing stages of Round 2, while power steering issues in the UK harmed his results. Nonetheless, Ghirelli and Team Bleekemolen are still firmly in the hunt for the EuroNASCAR PRO title. 

Giorgio Maggi suffered from technical issues during the season opener in Valencia, and contact with Tobias Dauenhauer in Round 4 at the Indy Circuit destroyed a solid weekend for the Race Art Technology driver – Dauenhauer was penalized for the avoidable collision. Maggi leads the Junior Trophy, but the Swiss is eager to fight for the overall title. Therefore, he’s not satisfied with the results so far. He’s ahead of Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, Ulysse Delsaux and Challenger Trophy leader Fabrizio Armetta, who completes the top-10. 

The EuroNASCAR PRO title battle is on and with potential drama at every turn, it’s not possible to mark out a favorite for the championship win. The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series returns to action on July 8-9 at Autodromo di Vallelunga in Italy. Qualifyings and races will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, and several TV services from all around the world.