2023 NWES season – Fabrizio Armetta dominates the Challenger Trophy but the advantage has shrinked

The battle for the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Challenger Trophy will be a nail-biter when the elite EuroNASCAR PRO amateurs hit the track at Circuit Zolder in Belgium on October 14-15. The Club Motorsport driver-owner Fabrizio Armetta is 14th in the points standings and has been dominating the special classification, but tough results at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben has opened the door for his pursuers to close the gap. The Italian has taken five wins in the Challenger Trophy this season so far, but missed out on the podium in both races in Germany. Armetta has 196 points on his tally after dropping two worst results of the regular season and sits 13 points ahead of his teammate Riccardo Romagnoli.

Armetta finished fourth in the Challenger Trophy twice at Oschersleben, while Thomas Toffel took both wins at the race track near Magdeburg. The Italian from Rome still holds a comfortable lead, but with double points on the line at Zolder, the driver of the #55 Chevrolet Camaro will need to regain his momentum to take his second Challenger Trophy win since 2014. The 46-year-old is also tied with Henri Tuomaala in the all-time wins list and could set a record by scoring another Challenger Trophy victory. With a perfect sweep in Belgium, Armetta could end up with 22 wins on his record, which would put him two wins ahead of the Finn.

His closest rival in the championship is teammate Romagnoli, who is only 13 points behind his team boss. The Italian finished second twice in Germany, allowing him to close the gap and get back into the mix. Romagnoli is chasing his first NWES trophy title and could be one of the surprises of the 2023 NWES season. Sitting in third place is a EuroNASCAR veteran who is hungry to overtake the two The Club Motorsport drivers: Massimiliano Lanza. The CAAL Racing driver in the #88 Chevrolet Camaro finished third in both races at Oschersleben and is just 22 points behind Armetta. Ahead of two promising races in Belgium, the 2021 Legend Trophy champion is eager to attack and wrestle the title away from his compatriots.

Just two points behind Lanza sits Toffel, who took his first ever Challenger Trophy win at Autodrom Most. The Swiss made the transition from motorcycle to car racing in recent years and has gotten into grips with the 400 hp V8 EuroNASCAR cars, best showcased by his sweep in the special classification at Oschersleben. With Race Art Technology working hard on the #34 Chevrolet Camaro, Toffel cannot be ruled out in the title fight. Dario Caso is fifth, but the Italian will need a miracle to get back into the mix at the EuroNASCAR Finals. The Vict Motorsport driver is looking to finish the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season on a high note.

The 2023 EuroNASCAR Finals will be held October 14-15 at Circuit Zolder for the sixth time in NWES history. Qualifying and all races will be streamed live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, and multiple television services around the world.