To spice up the upcoming 2021 season, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series reveals a series of sporting regulation changes that would see the introduction of several game-changing rules in the form of success handicap and championship points being awarded in qualifying.
Yesterday, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series announces a series of sporting regulation changes that would introduce several game-changing rules to spice up the competition in the upcoming 2021 season.
Perhaps the biggest rule change that would be introduced in 2021 came in the form of championship points for Qualifying. Starting from 2021, drivers who secured a Top 3 finish in Qualifying would receive championship points with the pole sitter receiving 3 points, second place receiving two, and third place receiving one point.
The introduction of Qualifying points is expected to give more importance in the Qualifying sessions as drivers are expected to push themselves more to have a better shot of earning championship points that may affect their position in the standings.
The dropped points rule that was temporarily abolished in 2020 would be reintroduced in 2021. For 2021, only the best ten results from the first twelve races and all results from the double-points scoring Finals weekend would count towards a driver’s total in the standings.
Given the possible risk of a driver having to miss a race due to travel restrictions or being tested positive for COVID-19, the new dropped points rule meant that a driver can miss a round and still have enough races that they can take part to score the maximum amount of points possible in the “regular season” portion of the calendar.
Another major rule change that would be introduced in 2021 came with the addition of a success handicap system. For the first time in NASCAR, a success handicap system would be implemented with the goal of providing fans with a more exciting on-track action, as well as giving the series’ leading drivers with an extra challenge of maintaining their status on the top.
What makes EuroNASCAR’s success handicap different in comparison to other forms of success handicap is that the handicap will be given in the form of grid penalties for Race 2. Whoever wins the first race of the weekend would receive a three-place grid penalty for Race 2, while second and third-place finishers would lose two and one place on the grid respectively. The above-mentioned grid penalties would be applied after the grid for Race 2 was initially determined by the ordering of drivers’ fastest lap times in Race 1.
Drivers would also receive a total of 22 slick tires that they would use for the whole 2021 season, two more than the amount of tires allocated in 2019 and 2020. In a first for the series, EuroNASCAR publicly announced when a driver would receive their allocation of fresh rubber for their machinery.
Drivers would receive a full set of fresh tires in four rounds of the season: Valencia, Most, Hockenheim, and Zolder. For the rounds at Vallelunga, Brands Hatch, and Rijeka, two new slick tires would be given to the drivers. As with the rules in 2020, there will be no limit on the amount of tires that drivers and teams are allocated on wet conditions or private testing sessions.
Finally, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series confirms that all rounds of the 2021 season would follow the traditional race week format after the 2020 season saw the introduction of alternate race formats in Vallelunga and the Valencia doubleheader round.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard / Bart Dehaese.