The Junior Trophy continues to be one of the most dramatic fights of the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season. The NASCAR GP Germany at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben presented the opportunity for two drivers aged 25 and under to take the victory in both the overall results and the special classification. Paul Jouffreau was declared the winner in Round 9 while Tobias Dauenhauer won on his home soil in Round 10. The stories didn’t stop there as Liam Hezemans became the new Junior Trophy leader heading into the EuroNASCAR Finals at Circuit Zolder.
Hezemans started his season strongly by winning Round 1 at Valencia, but a retirement in Round 2 left the Dutchman trailing behind. The gap widened further after he suffered another retirement in the UK and scored a couple more subpar results in both Italy and the Czech Republic. However, when drivers dropped their two worst results at the end of the regular season, the Hendriks Motorsport driver, who scored two-top-10 finishes in Germany, was able to cross off his two DNFs and take the lead in Junior Trophy with 248 points.
Ten points separate Hezemans from the driver sitting in second place: Vladimiros Tziortzis. Despite the Cypriot’s weekend going awry with a DNF in Round 9 and a 17th place finish in Round 10, he was able to keep the deficit close with his strong results in the earlier part of the year. Consistency continues to bring Ulysse Delsaux to the front in the Junior Trophy and even though he now lost his lead, the Speedhouse driver is just 15 points behind and will have a shot at winning it all in Belgium.
Fourth in the Junior Trophy standings is Tobias Dauenhauer, who became the star of the weekend in Germany. Dauenhauer had experienced the taste of glory during his time in EuroNASCAR 2, but the visit to Victory Lane in Round 10 was his first in EuroNASCAR’s top division. Driving the #99 Chevrolet Camaro for Bremotion, a brand new NASCAR team from Frankfurt, Dauenhauer dominated the race and led all laps from start to finish. The driver from Heppenheim also claimed the Pole Award in Qualifying and finished second in Round 9, truly establishing himself as a top driver to watch for the future.
Two top-15 finishes in the home race of his team Marko Stipp Motorsport placed Thomas Krasonis fifth in Junior Trophy. He is trailed by Paul Jouffreau, who once again had a round to remember in Oschersleben. The 19-year old Frenchman finished second behind Vittorio Ghirelli in Round 9, but was later declared as the winner after Ghirelli received a post-race penalty. He backed it up with a second place finish in Round 10, ensuring that he will have an outside shot for the overall Trophy victory. With 46 points separating him from Hezemans and a maximum of 176 points on the line at the double-points finale at Belgium, anything can still happen in this must-see battle.
Giorgio Maggi and Neo Lambert are ahead of Thomas Dombrowski, who made his return to EuroNASCAR PRO in Germany. Tuomas Pontinen rounds out the top-10 ahead of 3F Racing’s Ryan Vargas. The American showed excellent pace behind the wheel of the #30 Chevrolet Camaro and scored two top-10 finishes on his first European race outing. Jack Davidson closed out the rankings of the special classification.
Don’t forget to tune in to the EuroNASCAR Finals on 14-15 October to see the Junior Trophy drivers battling it out for the last time in 2023. They are promised to deliver fantastic action at Circuit Zolder, a track that will be hosting the Finals for the sixth time in its history. All qualifying and races will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and various television services around the world.