UPDATE: This article is updated on 16 September after Marco Schlimper of ThreeWide.de reported that Braxx Racing is going to field the No. 90 team only for Hockenhenheim.
UPDATE 2: This article is updated again on 17 September after NASCAR Whelen Euro Series announced that Michaela Dorcikova is going to drive Alex Caffi Motorsport’s No. 1 Ford Mustang in the Elite 1 class at Hockenheim.
UPDATE 3: This article is updated again on 18 September after NASCAR Whelen Euro Series releases the updated Entry List for Hockenheim, which features five additional drivers across the three classes competing at Hockenheim.
After more than two months of absence, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series finally returns to action next week for the sixth and penultimate race week of the season, the 2019 edition of American Fan Fest Semi Finals at Hockenheimring. This race will mark the start of the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Playoffs, where once again the races will award drivers and teams with double points.
On 14 September, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series released the initial Entry List for Hockenheim that features 31 teams ready to take part, with 59 drivers across Elite 1, Elite 2, and Elite Club eager to hit the track next week. Throughout the next 4 days, it is updated, with the current figures featuring 65 drivers across 22 countries ready to participate at Hockenheim.
There will be plenty of changes in the field for Hockenheim after the previous round at Venray saw a depleted field with only a total of 21 teams and 35 drivers across both classes taking part throughout the only oval race of the season.
In the team’s side, there will be three new entries for Hockenheim. PK Carsport was the first to reveal their new entry, as they revealed on July that they will be fielding a third car, a Ford Mustang chassis, for the Playoff races at Hockenheim and Zolder. Dylan Derdaele and Pol van Pollaert are scheduled to drive PK’s third car in Elite 1 and Elite 2 respectively.
The car, which originally intends to run the car number #999, is listed on the Entry List to be running car number #98. It is presumed that PK Carsport will be borrowing Motorsport 98’s number entry for their third car.
Marko Stipp Motorsport (MSM) and Dexwet-DF1 Racing will be working together to field the No. 22 Chevrolet Camaro for 318ti Cup team owner and VLN driver Ioannis Smyrlis. Smyrlis will become just the second Greek driver in the Euro Series, and given that Smyrlis would drive in both classes, he would become the first Greek driver to race in Elite 1 as Thomas Krasonis only raced in Elite 2 for this season.
MSM will be bringing the car and the crew members, while Dexwet-DF1 will be giving Smyrlis – who is under contract with the team – the opportunity to make his Euro Series debut in the No. 22 team for Hockenheim.
The third new entry will come from CAAL Racing, as they will be bringing back the team’s old staple, the No. 56 car. With the team already fielding three cars via gaining the No. 27 entry from Alex Caffi Motorsport starting from Most, CAAL Racing will become the first team to field a four-car team in the Euro Series since Double T did so in 2016.
CAAL’s Mini Challenge Italia driver Marco Santamaria will be making his Euro Series debut in Elite 1 in the No. 56 Chevrolet SS, while Moreno di Silvestre will make his first appearance in the series since Franciacorta as the Elite 2 driver of the No. 56 team. It is expected that di Silvestre will finally score his first championship points at Hockenheim as his finishes at Franciacorta was credited to Sam Taheri in the championship for unknown reasons.
In addition, after being absent in the previous few rounds, Braxx Racing, Mishumotors, Speedhouse 64, Solaris Motorsport, Alex Caffi Motorsport’s No. 1 team, and The Club Motorsport are all going to be returning for Hockenheim.
In the Elite 1 class, 30 drivers have confirmed their plans to race in Hockenheim. Only one team – MSM – did not have a driver listed in the Entry List. The Club and Alex Caffi’s No. 1 team originally did not have a driver listed, but they would later add Lorenzo Marcucci and Michaela Dorcikova as their Elite 1 drivers.
German sports car racing ace Daniel Keilwitz is scheduled to make both his stock car racing and his NASCAR Whelen Euro Series debut at Hockenheim in Mishumotors’ No. 70 team. Keilwitz, a highly successful driver in ADAC GT Masters, will be receiving an opportunity to race in NWES after having talks with Mishumotors’ owner-driver Mirco Schultis and Karl Geiger last week. Geiger’s company Geigercars will be providing sponsorship for Keilwitz’s debut race week in the Euro Series.
Highly rated Belgian young talent Guillaume Deflandre will be returning to the series after almost a full season of absence. Deflandre is scheduled to be making his Elite 1 debut at Hockenheim for Dexwet-DF1 Racing as the Elite 1 partner of Lasse Sorensen in the No. 66 team. Deflandre will race the No. 66 Chevrolet Camaro in the Playoff races at Hockenheim and Zolder and is aiming for a chance to return full-time in the 2020 season.
Scott Jeffs is also another driver that is scheduled to make his Elite 1 debut at Hockenheim. Jeffs, who was previously the Elite 2 partner of Alex Sedgwick in the No. 90 Braxx Racing team, will be promoted to the Elite 1 seat of the team as the sole representative for Braxx Racing in Elite 1 or Elite 2 for Hockenheim.
Writer’s Note: In the original article, we reported that Jeffs is going to be the teammate of the returning Marc Goossens in the No. 78 team based on the Entry List. However, we have learned from Marco Schlimper of ThreeWide.de that Braxx Racing has withdrawn the No. 78 entry, thus leaving Jeffs and Callum Cripps as the only drivers racing for Braxx Racing at Hockenheim.
Another driver that is going to be making their Euro Series debut this week is female racing driver Michaela Dorcikova. Dorcikova, who tested the Euro Series car in the 2019 Recruitment Days during the off-season, will be making her Euro Series debut in the Elite 1 class driving for Alex Caffi Motorsport in the No. 1 Ford Mustang as a late entry for Hockenheim.
Further additions to the Entry List were made on Tuesday, after it is revealed that Lorenzo Marcucci – who currently works as a driver coach for The Club Motorsports – will be returning to the Euro Series to drive The Club’s No. 41 Chevrolet Camaro in the Elite 1 class for Hockenheim. Marcucci, who won the 2017 Trofeo Angelo Caffi exhibition and non-championship event with The Club, will be making his first start in the series since his debut appearance at Tours in 2014.
With Speedhouse 64 returning for the Playoffs, Salvador Tineo Arroyo – who raced for Mishumotors and MSM in Speedhouse’s absence – will be returning to the seat of the No. 64 Chevrolet SS for Hockenheim.
Francesco Sini and Lucas Lasserre, who both missed the previous round at Venray, will be back in their respective seats for Hockenheim.
In the Elite 2 class, 26 drivers have confirmed plans to race at Hockenheim. Five teams – Both RDV cars, Go Fas, PK’s No. 11 team, and Braxx’s No. 90 team – did not have a driver listed in the Entry List.
The full-time Elite 2 drivers that missed the previous round at Venray due to one reason or another – Alessandro Brigatti, Naveh Talor, Advait Deodhar, Ben Creanor, Arianna Casoli, and Mirco Schultis – are all going to return in their respective seats for Hockenheim. This is especially important for Deodhar, as he currently sits in 5th place in the Championship and will come to Hockenheim as one of the main championship protagonists for the Playoffs.
Cycling legend Tom Boonen, who made his Euro Series debut last year for Braxx Racing, was initially announced in the pre-season to be driving PK Carsport’s No. 11 entry for Hockenheim and Zolder. However, with the No. 11 entry being listed as TBA in the Entry List, the status of this plan is currently being unknown.
It remains to be seen if PK Carsport will have a late driver entry for the No. 11 team just like in Venray, where Niels Albert was replaced by Barry Maessen before the race on Saturday.
In addition, with Vittorio Ghirelli listed in the No. 24 PK Carsport entry and Andre Castro listed in the No. 46 MSM entry, it pretty much confirms that Ghirelli and Castro will be competing for PK and MSM respectively for the rest of the season.
Massimiliano Lanza, who recently stars in his own YouTube series “Driver Lifestyle” that chronicles his journey in the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season, will be returning to the Euro Series for the first time since Franciacorta. He was initially scheduled to compete at Brands Hatch, but had to withdraw at the last minute for personal issues. Both Lanza and The Club will be planning to compete for the remaining 4 races of the season.
An interesting change will be happening at Memphis Racing, as V8 Thunder Cars veteran Janne Koikkalainen will be replacing Freddie Hemborg in the No. 77 team for Hockenheim. The reason for Hemborg’s absence is currently unknown.
Eric Clément, who did not take part in Venray, will be returning to the No. 88 Racing Engineering Ford Mustang’s Elite 2 seat for Hockenheim. Racing Engineering team owner Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón drove the car for the Practice sessions at Venray, but ultimately did not took part in the Qualifying and the Race at Venray.
Matthias Hauer, who was last seen at Brands Hatch as the Elite 2 driver of Speedhouse 64, will be returning to the series to partner Salvador Tineo Arroyo in the No. 64 team once again for his home race at Hockenheim.
In the Elite Club class, there will be 11 drivers scheduled to compete this week, 7 of them was announced in the initial Entry List on Saturday. Alessio Bacci, Giovanni Trione, Alina Loibnegger, and Alain Mosqueron will be returning to their respective seats for Hockenheim, while Callum Cripps will be changing teams as he will be driving in the No. 90 Braxx Racing team instead of the No. 27 team.
Two new drivers will race in Elite Club this week: The above-mentioned Karl Geiger, who will compete in Mishumotors’ No. 70 team, and Magnus Wallen, who will be competing in Memphis’ No. 77 Chevrolet Camaro.
Additions were made on Tuesday, where four more drivers are listed in the Entry List for this week’s Elite Club event at Hockenheim. Alex Caffi Motorsport will field the debuting “Manami” in the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro, while inaugural Elite Club champion Andreas Kuchelbacher returns to drive in Speedhouse’s No. 64 Chevrolet SS.
The final additions to the Elite Club class will come from Racing Engineering. The Spanish-based team will attempt to field Myatt Snider in the No. 48 team once more, while Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe driver Hugo de Sadeleer is planning to test NASCAR cars for the first time in the team’s No. 88 Ford Mustang this week.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will be racing at Hockenheim for Round 10 and Round 11 of the 2019 season on 21 September and 22 September respectively. All races for this season are going to be aired live on FansChoice.tv, Motorsport.tv, and the official Facebook page and YouTube channel of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.