|The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is heading to Germany this weekend to kick off the most crucial part of the 2019 season with the Semi Finals at the legendary Hockenheimring. Double points will be on the line in each of the four NWES races and, as the 2018 edition perfectly exemplified, the European NASCAR crown can change hands in a matter of seconds.
One of the most iconic tracks in Europe, the Hockenheimring will host the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for the third time in as many years in the context of the popular American Fan Fest. The event attracts thousands of race fans, American culture enthusiasts and families from all over Germany for a weekend full of door-to-door action and American-themed entertainment.
32 cars and 56 drivers are entered in the ELITE 1 and ELITE 2 divisions, while 10 cars are expected to take part in the third round of the ELITE Club Division on Friday.
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Stienes Longin will enter this crucial phase of the season leading the ELITE 1 Division standings by seven points on second-placed Loris Hezemans and eight on Nicolo Rocca, but no less than 17 drivers are still inside the 100-point range, beginning with two-time champion Alon Day. The Israeli is closely followed by Ander Vilarino, Romain Iannetta, Alexander Graff, Frederic Gabillon and Jacques Villeneuve. 2018 ELITE 2 Champion Ulysse Delsaux closes the top-10, 64 points behind the leader.
If Longin proved to be the most consistent driver and will certainly go for his first ELITE 1 win in the NASCAR GP Germany, Hezemans and Day may find at the Hockenheimring the ideal terrain to close the gap. Longin’s best result at Hockenheim is a seventh place in 2017, while Hezemans and Day won one race each last year in a weekend full of emotions and twists. But don’t count out any of the other contenders, the battle will be one for the ages.
As customary for the most unpredictable category in Euro NASCAR, a new winner is due at Hockenheim in ELITE 2 Division. All previous winners at the German track have moved to ELITE 1, leaving an open field to a spectacular mix of young talents and consistent veterans. Six rookies sit atop the standings, with Giorgio Maggi leading Vittorio Ghirelli by nine points and Lasse Soerensen by 15. Together, the three have won seven of the nine regular season races and will start the NASCAR GP Germany as the clear favorites.
Fourth-placed Myatt Snider, Advait Deodhar and Andre Castro will all try to grab their maiden NWES win, as will veterans like Justin Kunz and Pierluigi Veronesi. Nicholas Risitano – eighth in points – and rookie Freddie Hemborg complete the top-10, while 12 drivers sit inside the 100-point gap from the leader.
Qualifying and all the races from the NASCAR GP Germany will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Youtube channel and Facebook page, on Motorsport.tv and on a vast network of websites and social media profiles.
ELITE 1 Division
Derdaele returns on third PK Carsport car – After impressing in his 2018 NWES debut at Zolder – he was eighth in Final 2 – Dylan Derdaele will return to the grid at Hockenheim at the wheel of the #98 PK Carsport Ford Mustang. It will be the first time the Belgian team will field a third car.
Keilwitz to debut with Mishumotors – 2013 German GT Champion Daniel Keilwitz will make his NASCAR debut this weekend driving the #70 Mishumotors Chevrolet Camaro. The Villingen-Schwenningen native will look for a place to shine despite his lack of experience on the Euro NASCAR cars.
Jeffs takes ELITE 1 step – Returning to the track after missing the Most and Venray events, Scott Jeffs will take an important step in his NWES career by racing in the ELITE 1 Division for the first time, at the wheel of the #90 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro.
ELITE 2 Division
Smyrlis to pull double duties in NWES debut – Greek driver Ioannis Smyrlis will spice up his NWES debut by pulling double duties in the NASCAR GP Germany. Smyrlis, who comes from touring-car racing, will drive the #22 Marko Stipp – DF1 Racing Chevrolet, becoming the second ever Greek driver to enter Euro NASCAR.
A new Finn on the grid – The Finnish representative on the NWES grid will reach a new high at Hockenheim thanks to Janne Koikkalainen. The Espoo native will pilot the #77 Chevrolet Camaro for all-scandinavian team Memphis Racing, becoming the third competitor from the land of a thousand lakes to race in NWES in 2019.
Di Silvestre returns with CAAL Racing – After a solid outing at Franciacorta culminating with the 11th place in Round 4, young Italian talent Moreno di Silvestre will return to the NWES grid for the 2019 Semi Finals, driving the #56 Caal Racing Chevrolet. The Italian team will field a 4th car for the first time.