NASCAR GP CZECHIA PREVIEW : The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series goes East

Crédit photo : Autodrom Most

The beautiful and challenging Autodrom Most will host the first edition of the Most NASCAR Show

The 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season will reach its halfway point this weekend with a brand new event in the Czech Republic, the first in Eastern Europe in the championship’s history. The NASCAR GP Czechia will take place at the beautiful Autodrom Most, located one hour from the country’s capital Prague.

The Czech Republic is the 8th different country to host a NASCAR race in Europe since the institution of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series back in 2012 and Autodrom Most is the 14th different venue to host the championship. With its 4,222 Km of length, the variety of its 21 corners and the many elevation changes characterizing its layout, Most will definitely pose a whole new challenge to the Euro NASCAR drivers and teams.

31 cars and 57 drivers are entered in the first edition of the NASCAR GP Czech Republic.

In the ELITE 1 Division, defending Champion Alon Day will land in the Czech Republic strong of three wins, 6 top-5s and a 19-point advantage on Stienes Longin. After two second place finishes in the UK, the Belgian is emerging as Day’s main rival in this first part of the season. Nicolo Rocca jumped from fourth to third, overtaking Loris Hezemans and looks poised to grab his first win since returning to NWES full-time.

Most will be new to the majority of the grid and will therefore offer a golden opportunity to many contenders to try and close the gap from the leaders, beginning with three-time NWES Champion Ander Vilarino. The Spaniard is looking to shrink a 55-point. Former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve is 9 points further back. Alexander Graff, Brands Hatch race winner Frederic Gabillon, Marc Goossens and Romain Iannetta complete the top-10 in the ELITE 1 Division standings.

Lasse Soerensen became the first double winner of the season in the ELITE 2 Division at Brands Hatch with two spectacular drives and will surely be the man to beat at Most. Having joined NWES in the second event of the season, the Dane sits fifth in points while at the top Giorgio Maggi and Vittorio Ghirelli are involved in a tight battle for the lead. The two are separated by just 4 points entering the seventh race of 2019, with Advait Deodhar and Pierluigi Veronesi following in third and fourth place.

Crédit photo : NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stéphane Azemard

Positions six to ten are occupied by three rookies and two veterans: Myatt Snider, Andre Castro and Justin Kunz are all looking for their first NWES win, while Nicholas Risitano is hoping for further progress after winning the second race of the season in Valencia. Tenth-placed Scott Jeffs will want to confirm the great impression he left at Brands Hatch and Florian Venturi is up to 11th in points despite losing a dramatic race last time out in British GP.

Qualifying and races will be free to watch here (Saturday) and here (Sunday).

ELITE 1 Division

Martin Doubek back to pulling double duties at home – After missing the Brands Hatch weekend due to a knee injury, Martin Doubek is returning behind the wheel for his home race in the Czech Republic and is not going to hold anything back. The 24-year-old Hendriks Motorsport driver will pilot the #7 Mustang in both Division at Most.

The battle between Rocca and Hezemans resumes – Rocca and Hezemans switched places atop the Junior Trophy classification, with the Italian now leading the Dutchman by four points. Gianmarco Ercoli overtook Salvador Tineo for third at Brands Hatch, but the pair sits more than 50 points behind the leader.

Tuomaala leads the Challenger Trophy – A pair of wins last time out in the United Kingdom reinforced Henri Tuomaala’s lead in the strongly contested Challenger Trophy. The Memphis Racing driver now has a 23-point margin on a tight group of four chasers, led by 2016 Trophy winner Dario Caso.

ELITE 2 Division

Waden takes the Legend Trophy lead – The Legend Trophy leadership keeps changing hands. Ian Eric Waden jumped from third to first in the special over-40 classification in the United Kingdom  and enters the NASCAR GP Czechia with two points on Mirco Schultis and seven on Michael Bleekemolen.

Three rookies at the top of the board – Three rookies – Giorgio Maggi, Vittorio Ghirelli and Advait Deodhar – are leading the ELITE 2 points standings. The last time it happened was at the end of the 2014 season, when Guillaume Dumarey won the title ahead of Philipp Lietz and Thomas Ferrando.

23 drivers earned a place in the top-10 – No less than 23 of 34 classified drivers finished in the top-10 at least once in the first six races of the 2019 NWES season, further testifying the unpredictability of the ELITE 2 Division. Of those 23, 14 grabbed at least one top-5 finish.

According to the press release of june 26, 2019