NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

After successful first season: NWES returns to virtual racetracks

NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Guillaume Hesnault / iRacing

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will once again host a virtual championship – As it did in 2020, the EuroNASCAR Esports Series will have an impact on the real-world team championship

Last year, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) was one of the pioneers in Esports in motorsports, as it combined virtual racing with the real-world team championship. The concept was successful, so the EuroNASCAR Esports Series (ENES) will return in 2021.

EuroNASCAR drivers, team members and invited guests from the virtual motorsports world will be participating in the series. Just like last year, the Esports Series will contribute real points to the NWES team standings.

Five races on the schedule

The 5-run series will take place in iRacing, one of the most realistic and prestigious simulations currently available. The first race will be held on the famous Daytona Road Course in the USA on February 9. The track is best known for the Daytona 500 (on the oval) as the season opener of the real NASCAR series, as well as the Daytona 24h race.

14 days later, the next race takes place on the Indy version of Brands Hatch on February 23. The technical track has been a fixture on the EuroNASCAR calendar for years and is not missing from the virtual offshoot.

On March 9, the season enters the halfway point and returns to America to make an appearance at the prestigious Watkins Glen. This track is also part of the real NASCAR schedule.

The track for the fourth round of the season on March 23 is still a secret for now and will be revealed as the season progresses. The season finale on April 6 will be held at Belgium’s Circuit Zolder, which like Brands Hatch is on the real EuroNASCAR calendar.

Exciting format und real-life points

The format for ENES 2021 will ensure that the races always remain exciting. The up to 60 participants will be divided into three different heats after practice and qualifying. These heats are a qualification for the 30-minute main race.

Drivers within the top 10 of each heat are seeded for the main race. Drivers who miss out on the top 10 have the opportunity to qualify for the main event after all in the ten-minute “Last Chance Qualifier.” The top 6 of this heat will complete the 36-drivers main race.

The winner who sees the checkered flag first will receive 40 points, the runner-up 35 and the third-place finisher 34. All other drivers, in descending order, always get one point less than the driver who placed better ahead them.

The format is also used in the overall standings. The champion receives 40 points for the real NWES team ranking – that is, for his car in the 2021 NWES season. The bold step of combining the virtual and real worlds is finding imitators: The GT World Challenge has also announced that it will incorporate virtual results into the real championship.

Tobias Kantert