For the second consecutive round, there was a new driver on top of the Rookie Trophy podium. In the NASCAR GP Germany, Thomas Toffel from Switzerland scored his first victories in the special classification for debuting drivers. The driver of the #34 Race Art Technology Chevrolet Camaro mastered the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben track and bested his rivals in all of the races. He even managed to finish on the overall podium in Round 10, making him the first Rookie Trophy driver to finish in the top-3 in the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season. The results allowed him to close his deficit to Thomas Dombrowski, who maintains his Rookie Trophy lead before the EuroNASCAR Finals at Zolder.
Toffel’s rookie year has been starting rough due to multiple retirements in the first half of the season, but things started to turn for the better after he returned to the trophy podium at Most. The former motorcycle racer confirmed his excellent performance in EuroNASCAR’s first visit to Oschersleben. The 32-year old driver took his first Rookie Trophy win in Round 9 and completed a strong weekend with the sweep in Round 10. Both wins were achieved in impressive circumstances: He survived a five-second post-race penalty in the first race and finished second overall in the second race, earning him the first overall podium finish in his career.
Only fifty points separate Toffel from the leader in Rookie Trophy: Dombrowski. The French driver led the special classification for the entire season so far, but his deficit has been slashed away to just five points after each driver’s two worst results were dropped at the end of the regular season. The Team Bleekemolen driver’s closest competitor will be Marko Stipp Motorsport’s Jack Davidson, who scored two podium finishes in the special classification in Germany. Those podiums allowed the Scotsman to drop his two retirements from his points tally, setting up the ground for an exciting showdown in Belgium.
A challenging home weekend was experienced by Davidson’s teammate Nick Schneider, but he remains in third place in the Rookie Trophy ranks. The Brazilian driver with German ancestry suffered from several off-track excursions in Round 9 and a retirement in Round 10. Despite this, he still had a five-point advantage over Toffel, who moved up to fourth. Both drivers will be dark horses in the battle for the overall trophy win, something that can also be said for CAAL Racing’s Sven van Laere. Van Laere, now fifth in the Trophy classification, once again finished both races in Germany and will be looking to use his consistency as his key towards a possible Rookie Trophy victory.
Two drivers made their debut in the EuroNASCAR 2 division in Germany: Dominique Schaak and Mario Ercoli. Schaak drove for the Frankfurt-based Bremotion at his home NASCAR GP and performed well, securing himself a Rookie Trophy podium with a sixth place finish in Round 10. Mario, the younger brother of EuroNASCAR PRO championship leader Gianmarco, earned some important experience behind the wheel of the 400 hp V8 car as he continues his aim for a full-season campaign in 2024.
The final chapter of the Rookie Trophy battle will be written when the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series returns to Circuit Zolder for the EuroNASCAR Finals on 14-15 October. All qualifying and races will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and various television services around the world.