Photo courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

Vittorio Ghirelli couldn’t have picked two more different type of machines for his 2019 season campaign. On one hand, he competes in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Based from its American counterparts and designed to create the ultimate Pure Racing action, the NWES car is a 400 hp 5.7L V8-engined monster that presents a whole new type of challenge for its drivers when compared to the more contemporary racing cars in Europe.  

On the other hand, he also competed in the smart EQ fortwo e-cup, ACI Sport’s official championship for alternative energy racing. As the name implies, the smart EQ fortwo e-cup uses smart EQ fortwo’s as its car of choice. Featuring an 80-hp electric motor that sends its power through a single-speed transmission and a maximum range of “just” 60 miles, the smart EQ fortwo is designed for city driving more than for racing purposes.

While the smart EQ fortwo lies in the opposite end of the spectrum when compared to the NWES cars, it certainly didn’t stop Ghirelli from competing in both series and after scoring a pair of second-place finishes in the smart EQ fortwo e-cup’s season finale round at Adria last weekend, Vittorio Ghirelli was crowned as the series’ 2019 championship title to put himself in the history books as ACI Sport’s first electric racing champion.

“It is a great feeling and an honor to be the first driver in the history of ACI Sport to be able to boast an electric title,” said Ghirelli to smartecup.com. “Being able to do it by wearing the colors of Mercedes-Benz Roma and 2easyRent makes this wonderful day simply incomparable.

It was a tough season where I never tried to push too hard and always try to bring home the maximum results. I’ve been growing, I was consistent and in the end I took home the title of the smart EQ fortwo e-cup! I hope I can defend our title next year too, I’m already thrilled with the idea!” further said Ghirelli, who competed for both Racers Motorsport and PK Carsport in the 2019 NWES season.

Despite only claiming 1 race win at Umbria, a total of 8 podium finishes throughout the year was enough for Ghirelli to claim the title ahead of Riccardo Azzoli and Fulvio Ferri, who finished second and third respectively in the championship standings.

Azzoli and Ferri, who won Race 1 and Race 2 at Adria respectively, would claim the honor of having the most wins throughout the season as both drivers scored a total of three race wins in the 2019 season.

The smart EQ fortwo e-cup, which became recognized by ACI Sport as its official championship for alternative energy racing this year, was founded in 2018 and is believed to be the world’s first electric touring car series. The series held its first race in June 2018, predating Formula E’s support series Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy by 6 months.

The series have experienced a massive growth after just two years of existence, with series CEO Massimiliano Palumbo reporting to e-racing365 that the series received more live streaming views than any other Italian championships.

For the smart EQ fortwo e-cup’s season finale round at Adria, Vittorio Ghirelli wouldn’t be the sole NWES driver to race at Adria as he was joined by fellow EuroNASCAR 2 driver Arianna Casoli in the field. A popular veteran driver in NWES, Casoli drove the No. 54 smart EQ fortwo in her debut smart e-cup appearance as a guest driver for the Autocentauro team.

With Ghirelli having told to leadlap that he plans to move up to EuroNASCAR Pro – the former Elite 1 class – following a successful debut season in NWES where he finished 3rd overall in the 2019 Elite 2 championship, it remains to be seen if Ghirelli is going to do a double campaign in the NWES and smart EQ fortwo e-cup again for the 2020 season.

For more information on the smart EQ fortwo e-cup, you can check it out at http://smartecup.com/.

Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of smart EQ fortwo e-cup.

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