Vladimiros Tziortzis is the man to beat in the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season. The Cypriot won all four races in EuroNASCAR 2 and scored a total of 160 points. The driver of the #5 Academy / Alex Caffi Motorsport EuroNASCAR FJ is doing double duty for the Italian-Monegasque joint venture this season and has emerged as the hottest title contender in the second tier of European NASCAR racing. With a fifth consecutive victory at Vallelunga, Tziortzis would equal the record set by Stienes Longin in 2016, when the Belgian won the first five races of the season until Salvador Tineo Arroyo ended the streak.
While Tziortzis dominated the first three races of the season, winning the fourth race was a lot of work for the 26-year-old from Nicosia. He fought an intense battle in the rain at Brands Hatch against Paul Jouffreau, who collected his first ever laps in the lead despite having no experience of racing in the rain. Despite a mistake in the last corner of the track, Tziortzis was able to regain the lead and take home another win that puts him comfortably at the top of the EuroNASCAR 2 standings.
Alberto Naska is Tziortzis’ closest rival and the 2022 runner-up will do his best to end the points leader’s streak and find his way back to Victory Lane. The Italian has been on the podium in every race so far, with three runner-up finishes highlighting the CAAL Racing driver’s performance. At the wheel of the #54 Chevrolet Camaro, the popular content creator will have to step up his game to beat Tziortzis and find his way back into title contention. Naska is just 21 points out of the championship lead after four races.
Jouffreau’s performance in the 2023 NWES season is a bit of a surprise. The Frenchman made his EuroNASCAR debut in 2022 and finished on the podium once in his rookie season. In 2023, the RDV Competition driver made it to the podium three times and finished in the top-5 in every race. Sitting just 25 points behind Tziortzis, Jouffreau could be a contender for the 2023 title, but the 19-year-old still has to find his way to Victory Lane and get his first EuroNASCAR win.
Gil Linster has been one of the most consistent drivers of the season as the Luxembourger has scored top-5 finishes in every race. Consistency is key in EuroNASCAR, but Linster has yet to earn a podium finish. The Hendriks driver at the wheel of the #50 Toyota Camry is eager to take the next step, conquer the top-3 and fight for his first EuroNASCAR 2 race win. Linster has tons of NWES experience that could be a key factor in the second half of the 2023 season. He’s 29 points behind Tziortzis and still in contention for the title.
With a 38-point gap on the leader, 2021 EuroNASCAR 2 champion Martin Doubek completes the top-5 in the overall standings. The Czech and Linster’s teammate has had a solid season so far, but lacks consistency. Still, two top-5 and three top-10 finishes so far keep Doubek in the mix. Thomas Dombrowski is the best Rookie Trophy rider in sixth place, followed by Legend Trophy leader Riccardo Romagnoli. Patrick Schober, who was fighting for a top-5 finish, suffered a huge setback in the UK when he crashed in turn 1 with Jack Davidson. The Austrian is looking to bounce back and make up ground.
The 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series continues July 8-9 at the Autodromo di Vallelunga near the Italian capital of Rome. Qualifying and all races will be streamed live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and multiple TV services around the world.