Epic battle for the Rookie Trophy: Julien Rehberg and Florian Richard tied in points 

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Bart Dehaese

The Rookie Trophy is one of the most coveted titles in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series as each EuroNASCAR 2 driver only gets one shot at winning the special classification. In the 2024 NWES season, there are many contenders hungry for class wins to prove they are the best talent in the paddock. After four races, Bremotion’s Julien Rehberg and Speedhouse’s Florian Richard are tied for fifth and sixth in the overall standings. Mario Ercoli and Simone Giussani are two more drivers looking to make their way into the title fight.

Rehberg was the sensation of the first three rounds of EuroNASCAR 2 in Spain and Italy. The 18-year-old took the class wins three times in a row between the Circuit Ricardo Tormo and the Autodromo di Vallelunga, but a technical issue on Sunday in Italy left the German stranded in the gravel. He still has enough points to lead the Rookie Trophy standings in fifth place, but he’s level on points with another raw diamond on the grid: Florian Richard.

Coming through the Speedhouse Driver Academy, Richard got his first taste of EuroNASCAR in the 2023 Club Challenge season. He made the step up to competitive racing in 2024 and has posted solid results in the four races so far. A seventh-place finish on Saturday at Vallelunga marked his personal best in the early stages of the season and the Frenchman has shown the potential to challenge for top-5 positions in the remainder of the EuroNASCAR 2 Championship. Like Rehberg, Richard is pleased with the progress he has made so far.

Mario Ercoli, the step-brother of reigning EuroNASCAR PRO Champion Gianmarco Ercoli, finished eighth in Vallelunga on Sunday to score important points for the Rookie Trophy. The youngster is seventh overall, just four points behind Rehberg and Richard, after a solid run in his home NASCAR GP. On Sunday, Ercoli came close to scoring his first Rookie Trophy win of the season. He only got beaten by his Vict Motorsport teammate Valerio Marzi, who made his return to the championship in Italy.

Another Italian driver has shown glimpses of his potential, but still needs a strong result to confirm his promising pace: Simone Giussani.  The 27-year-old made the step from Legends Cars to EuroNASCAR and had plenty of experience at the Autodromo di Vallelunga. The Double V Racing driver fought for top positions in the races, but penalties and small mistakes prevented him from finishing in the top-5. The Italian is twelfth in the standings, 17 points adrift of the Rookie Trophy leaders. Victor Neumann follows in fifth ahead of Veeti Rajala, Reza Sardeha and Dominique Schaak. Marzi and Frederic Periat complete the Rookie Trophy standings after rounds 3 and 4 in Italy.

The epic battle will continue at the Indy Circuit of Brands Hatch on 8 and 9 May. All of the action from the 2024 American SpeedFest will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel and on numerous television networks around the world. Who will take the lead in one of the most unpredictable classes in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series?


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