NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

Three titles: Alon Day crowns himself NWES champion 2020

NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

Alon Day has secured the 2020 NWES title at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain – The Israeli has won the championship for the third time

In a dramatic season finale in Valencia, Alon Day (PK Carsport) wrote EuroNASCAR history: The Israeli from Ashdod drew level with all-time record holder Ander Vilarino with his third title win. He is now the most successful driver in the history of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) with 24 race wins. The 29-year-old’s race weekend started out rather mixed, so it was by no means easy for Day to bring the title home.

Day started from pole position in the first race of the EuroNASCAR PRO championship, but shortly after the start he made contact with Gianmarco Ercoli (CAAL Racing), who also still had a chance to win the title. This contact earned Day a drive-through penalty that shuffled him down the order.

Stienes Longin (PK Carsport) then took the lead ahead of Loris Hezemans (Hendriks Motorsport). The defending champion also still had a chance for overall victory, but needed a lot of luck to make the miracle come true. Longin was plagued by the error devil and so he had to let his car roll out with technical problems while lying in the lead on the start-finish straight.

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

The big winner of this start was the “Danish Giant” Lasse Soerensen (DF1 Racing). After a off-track experience in lap two, Soerensen fought his way back to the top. He first passed Lucas Lasserre (Mishumotors) and pushed himself further and further forward.

Olivier Hart in the Hendriks Motorsport’s Ford Mustang made an impressive debut and fought a thrilling battle with his rivals. However, Hart was a non-championship driver due to his late entry into the series and therefore did not collect points in the championship.

Soerensen closed the gap on Hezemans and the probably most worth seeing duel of the year followed. The two drove door-to-door for six turns and in the end it was Soerensen who won the duel and drove away from Hezemans. The top 3 spots were taken: Soerensen made an impressive comeback to the title race with his victory, Hezemans came second ahead of Lasserre.

Ercoli finished fifth behind Marc Goossens (CAAL Racing), Day fought his way up to sixth place after his drive-through penalty and secured the pole position for the next race with the fastest lap in the race.

Alon Day strikes back

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

Day started from pole position, but it was his team-mate Longin who led the field after the first few corners. The duel between the two PK Carsport drivers lasted over eleven laps and was fought fairly but hard at all times. Then Day pushed past the Belgian and finally crossed the finish line with a lead of almost 1.3 seconds in first place.

With his 23rd race win, Day was the sole winningest driver in EuroNASCAR, ahead of Ander Vilarino, who was at the wheel of the #48 Chevrolet Camaro (DF1 Racing / Marko Stipp Motorsport) this weekend after skipping the season so far due to the corona pandemic. However, the Spaniard struggled with technical issues and was ranked 19th with a two-lap gap.

Soerensen reached the finish in sixth place. Nicolo Rocca (DF1 Racing) and Ercoli finished ahead of him, with Hezemans from the Netherlands in second place. At this point Day was 14 points ahead of Soerensen in the standings, but Ercoli and Hezemans also had a chance for overall victory due to the double points awarded in the two final races.

Day extends its lead

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

The 24 was the number of the first final race at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia: Day took his 24th career victory in the #24 car and extended his lead over his chaser Soerensen to 24 points.

Once again it was Day who started the race from pole position, who had a perfect start. His team-mate Longin, who had started next to Day, was involved in a collision. The safety car had to be deployed so that Longin’s car could be safely recovered.

Day also won the restart, but was initially pressured by Hezemans. However, technical problems on the #50 Ford Mustang caused Hezemans to fall further and further behind and in the end only finish twelfth.

The driver of the race, however, was Soerensen, who moved up from eleventh place on the grid to second place and fought a remarkable duel with Hart in his race to catch up. The Danish giant thus kept his chance for the title. Particularly remarkable: Soerensen is the reigning EuroNASCAR 2 champion and was the first “rising star” in the PRO class to win a race in his first year, while at the same time maintaining his chances of overall victory in the highest European NASCAR category.

Lasserre’s race to catch up was also worth seeing: The EuroNASCAR veteran started from 15th place and pushed forward to third place.

Unimpressed by events behind him, Day started to save his material for the last race to be as well prepared as possible in the fight for the EuroNASCAR crown. So he drove towards an unchallenged victory. His second win in a row was also his 24th career success overall.

Day secured his third title in the EuroNASCAR PRO

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

The last race of the 2020 season, which was disrupted by the corona pandemic, was on the agenda and once again it was Day who started from pole position.

He defended his lead ahead of Hezemans, but as early as the third lap the safety car had to come out on the track because Ercoli and Mauro Trione (both CAAL racing) were involved in an accident. Ercolli’s hopes for the title were thus dashed.

After the restart Hezemans took the lead before Day, who was put under heavy pressure by Soerensen. The Dane also passed Day, who on his part did not risk anything that would endanger his title win. The Israeli remained patiently behind Soerensen and kept his pace unimpressed. From behind Rocca in the service of DF1 Racing approached.

Day, who was not condemned to victory because of his comfortable lead in the championship, drove cleverly and did not defend himself against Rocca. Knowing that a fourth place would be enough for him to win the title, Day did not take any risky actions. His focus was not on winning the race but on the championship.

Defending champion Hezemans was rewarded with another race win at the end of a difficult season. Behind him, Soerensen and Rocca crossed the finish line after a hot duel, but the big winner was Day in fourth place – who, in best NASCAR manner, did not miss the chance to erase the remaining rubber on his tires with a few donuts.

Day, who now has as many titles on his account as Ander Vilarino, was overjoyed: “I have no words,” said the new champion. “2020 was such a hard year for me when I left everything behind in Israel to live in Belgium next to the PK Carsport shop. The dedication was good enough to win the championship this year. It was such a hard time living alone with the lockdown, physically and mentally. This weekend was one of the most demanding in my life. We made it! I thank the whole team and I’m a happy boy right now and finally I’m going home.”

But not only Day had reason to celebrate: Second in the championship and winner of the Junior Trophy was Soerensen ahead of Ercoli and Justin Kunz (DF1 Racing). After Longin, Soerensen is the second driver in NWES history to win a Trophy in the EuroNASCAR PRO Championship after his EuroNASCAR 2 championship victory.

The winner of the Challenger Trophy was Davide Dallara (Not Only Motorsport). The remarkable thing about it: Originally Dallara was supposed to compete in the EuroNASCAR 2 championship, but due to team internal changes, he was promoted to the NWES elite. This marked the end of a season which, due to the pandemic situation, could only be started late and also had to be redesigned in the course of the year.

Frank Reipen