Manami Kobayashi and Alina Loibnegger created history with their 1-2 finish in yesterday’s Elite Club event at Hockenheim as for the first time ever, two female drivers topped the podium finish in NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ regularity-based division.

Photo courtesy of Alex Caffi Motorsport

Kobayashi, who drove Alex Caffi Motorsport’s No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro in the Elite Club class this week and is a familiar face to the series paddock thanks to her relationship with series veteran Kenko Miura, won yesterday’s Elite Club event in her debut week after she secured a first and fourth place finish in yesterday’s sessions. She scored 73 points in total, one more than Loibnegger who secured a fifth and first place finish in her timed runs.

“It was an amazing experience,” said Kobayashi to after the race. “In the beginning I had a lot of respect for the car. It was hard to handle because of the power, but after some laps my respect turned into excitement. I’m very happy about my first win in the Elite Club division.”

“It felt so amazing to be on the podium here at Hockenheim,” said Loibnegger to post-race. “I’m so happy about this second place, I really cannot stop smiling. I did a test here at Hockenheim in a touring car before, which was a lot of fun, but driving a EuroNASCAR here at this track is a completely different world. The old-school feeling is amazing and an unique experience for a race car driver.”

Alain Mosqueron, Loibnegger’s Elite Club teammate in Dexwet-DF1 Racing, completes the podium after scoring a total of 67 points, one more than Elite Club championship leader Giovanni Trione who continued to extend his lead in the standings after his closest competitor Andreas Kuchelbacher can only finish in 8th this week.

Callum Cripps finished fifth in his first outing with Braxx Racing in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series this week, followed by debutants Magnus Wallen and the duo of Karl and Jacqueline Geiger, who uniquely entered themselves as a duo in Mishumotors’ No. 70 Chevrolet Camaro this week. Kuchelbacher and Alessio Bacci would round out the 9-car field in this week’s Elite Club event.

The results this week would mean that Giovanni Trione continues to lead the Elite Club championship with 207 points, with Kuchelbacher and Mosqueron are now tied in the championship with 199 points each. Bacci is fourth with 184 points, while Loibnegger moves up to fifth place with 174 points in her name. Callum Cripps, the only remaining driver that has taken part in all three Elite Club events so far, is sixth with 169 points.

The Elite Club class will be returning on the season finale race week, the American Festival NASCAR Finals at Circuit Zolder, to determine who will become the 2019 Elite Club champion.

Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.

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