The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is back in Germany and a local hero impressed with a stellar lap time in EuroNASCAR PRO Qualifying: Tobias Dauenhauer from Heppenheim clocked a 1:31.364 to beat championship contender Vittorio Ghirelli. The two-time EuroNASCAR 2 runner-up scored the first ever EuroNASCAR PRO for himself as well as for Bremotion, the popular team from Frankfurt that made its NASCAR debut in 2023. In EuroNASCAR 2, Paul Jouffreau was on fire, taking his second consecutive pole of the season at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben.
Bremotion can already look back on a fantastic first season in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series as the team led by Patrick Brenndorfer has already achieved success despite being one of the newest teams on the grid. Pairing with a young and experienced top driver like Tobias Dauenhauer proved to be the best choice to climb the learning curve. The German reached a milestone at his and the team's home race at Oschersleben by setting the fastest lap in Superpole to earn the organization's first Pole Award. A 1:31.364 lap was quick enough to beat championship contender Vittorio Ghirelli by 0.129 seconds.
“It’s amazing to get pole here in front of my wonderful fans here!” said Dauenhauer after clinching his first EuroNASCAR PRO pole position. “My lap was really on the edge, but everything came together! I think it will be exciting to run into the first corner, which will be difficult because pole position is on the left hand side. It’s not that clear if the pole man is going to be in front after the second corner, but we will see. I think it will be an exciting race with a lot of overtakes so I’m looking forward to it!”
Second may not be the worst position on the grid for Ghirelli in the #72 Team Bleekemolen Toyota Camry. Turn 2 is a right-hander and the Italian from Fasano will start the EuroNASCAR PRO race on the outside line, an advantage if he can keep his V8 beast next to Dauenhauer in the infamous Turn 1. Championship leader Gianmarco Ercoli, in the #54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet, ended up in third position. Ghirelli's compatriot made a late dash into Superpole after a red flag was waved in Q1 for a spin by Thomas Toffel with five minutes to go. Nevertheless, Ercoli managed to put in a good lap and secure a solid starting position.
2023 sensation Paul Jouffreau followed in fourth at the wheel of his #3 RDV Competition Chevrolet Camaro, topping the Junior Trophy standings ahead of Liam Hezemans, who rounded out the top-5 at the wheel of his #50 Hendriks Motorsport Toyota Camry. Speedhouse's Lucas Lasserre followed in sixth. The Frenchman is fighting to take the lead in the championship, as he sits just two points behind Ercoli heading into the regular season finale in Germany.
Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, Anthony Kumpen and Marc Goossens followed, while Ryan Vargas was impressive in his first ever NWES event and remarkably made it into Superpole to start tenth on the grid at the wheel of the #30 3F Racing Chevrolet. Fabrizio Armetta finished 13th and led the Challenger Trophy standings, ahead of Toffel in 15th and Max Lanza in 16th. The Italian received a post-session penalty for a contact with Hezemans, which dropped him to 16th on the grid promoting Toffel to the top of the special classification.
The EuroNASCAR 2 is famous for its unpredictability and the 2023 season is no exception. RDV Competition’s Paul Jouffreau made another step towards the title by scoring his second Pole Award of the season, beating title contender Alberto Naska in his #54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet Camaro. The Frenchman edged the Italian by 0.180 seconds in a frantic qualifying session. Championship leader Vladimiros Tziortzis did not turn a single lap due to technical issues on his #5 Academy / Alex Caffi Motorsport EuroNASCAR FJ and will start the race from the very back of the field.
“I’m happy, but I want to stay calm because my main objective is to win the race. Scoring the pole position is cool, but it will not determine the result of the race,” said the 19-year old driver after grabbing his second career Pole Award. “While pole is good, it’s not what will make me an European champion at the end of the year so I just want to stay focused and we will see what happens in the race.”
Naska bested Hendriks Motorsport’s Martin Doubek in the battle for second while Gil Linster scored another fourth place on the grid. For Linster, fourth place is a blessing and a curse at the same time but the Luxembourgish Hendriks Motorsport driver remains in the hunt for the 2023 EuroNASCAR 2 title. Race Art Technology’s Claudio Cappelli not only completed the top-5 but also topped the standings in the Legend Trophy for drivers aged 40 and over. He edged out the reigning Legend Trophy champion Melvin de Groot, who ended up sixth. Patrick Schober was seventh ahead of Roberto Benedetti. The Italian closed the Legend Trophy top-3.
Thomas Toffel, the quickest driver in the Rookie Trophy, and Riccardo Romagnoli completed the top-10 while Thomas Dombrowski, the Rookie Trophy points leader, finished eleventh ahead of Nick Schneider and Jack Davidson. NWES debutant Mario Ercoli ended up 14th in his maiden EuroNASCAR 2 qualifying. Mario tied Leonardo Colavita’s record for the youngest driver in the division at 16 years and 4 days. Bremotion’s Dominique Schaak, one of the local heroes alongside Dauenhauer, Schneider and Matthias Hauer finished the session in 17th position, while Arianna Casoli was first in the Lady Trophy.
The NASCAR GP Germany at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben will continue with round 9 on Saturday. While the EuroNASCAR PRO broadcast will start at 13:20 CEST, the EuroNASCAR 2 drivers will be back in action at 16:45 CEST. All races will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and several TV services from all around the world.