NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (formerly known as Racecar Euro Series and Euro-Racecar NASCAR Touring Series) is an official NASCAR stock-car racing series based in Europe. It is one of NASCAR's three international-sanctioned series, alongside the NASCAR Pinty's Series and the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series, and is the most prestigious stock car racing series in Europe.

History

Euro-Racecar NASCAR Touring Series logo, 2012 – June 2013
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series logo, June 2013 – 2017

French rally driver Jérôme Galpin conceived the idea of a European-based stock car racing series after he watched a NASCAR race in 2002. His family group, Team FJ, then launched the Racecar Euro Series in June 2008 and announced that the first season would be held the following year as a FFSA-sanctioned series.[1] The first season in 2009 was held on 7 tracks across France, with 16 cars entering the inaugural race at Nogaro. The series was approved as an International Series by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) after the series held a race at the Nürburgring in 2010.[2][1] The calendar was expanded further in 2011 to include more races in Europe.

Galpin began to make connections with NASCAR after he had contact with NASCAR's Senior Development Business Director, Robert Duvall, in June 2009.[3] NASCAR soon took interest in the series, and later in 2010 the then-Racecar Euro Series champion Lucas Lasserre was invited to enter the Toyota All-Star Showdown.[4]

In early 2012, Team FJ entered into an agreement with NASCAR to sanction the series as part of the NASCAR circuit until 2020, though it remains registered as an International FIA series.[5][6] As part of the agreement, the series changed its name to the Euro-Racecar NASCAR Touring Series.

With the new agreement with NASCAR, the series became an official NASCAR racing series in Europe. NASCAR rules and standards were adopted in the series. The champion was invited to the NASCAR Night of Champions Gala at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, along with the rest of the regional series champions, with the 2012 champion Ander Vilariño being the first to attend.[7]

On July 1, 2013, the series was renamed the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series after Whelen Engineering announced an agreement to become the title sponsor of the series through 2018.[8][9] This agreement was extended on December 6, 2017, after NASCAR announced that Whelen Engineering would continue to be the title sponsor of both the Euro Series and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour until 2024.[10]

On October 4, 2019, the series announced that NASCAR and Team FJ would continue to work together to operate the series until at least 2030.[11] On October 22, 2019, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series announced that the classes would be rebranded from Elite 1 and Elite 2 to EuroNASCAR PRO (ENPRO) and EuroNASCAR 2 (EN2) for the 2020 season.[12]

Tracks

Locations of the tracks that have held a NASCAR Whelen Euro Series race. Green dots represent current tracks, blue dots represent 2020 tracks that can't host a round due to the COVID-19 pandemic, red dots represent former tracks.

The following are the tracks which have been used since 2012, currently are in use, and/or are scheduled to be used in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series as sanctioned by NASCAR:

Years Track Location Type
2020–present ACI Vallelunga Circuit Campagnano di Roma, Italy Road course
2016 Adria International Raceway Adria, Italy Road course
2017–2019 Autodromo di Franciacorta Castrezzato, Italy Road course
2014–2015 Autodromo dell'Umbria Magione, Italy Road course
2013 Autodromo Nazionale Monza Monza, Italy Road course
2019–present Autodrom Most Most, Czech Republic Road course
2012–2019[N 1] Brands Hatch West Kingsdown, England Road course
2012–2014 Bugatti Circuit Le Mans, France Road course
2012–2013 Circuit Paul Armagnac Nogaro, France Road course
2012,
2014–present
Circuit Ricardo Tormo Valencia, Spain Road course
2012 Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps Stavelot, Belgium Road course
2015–present Circuit Zolder Heusden-Zolder, Belgium Road course
2013 Dijon-Prenois Prenois, France Road course
2017–2019[N 1] Hockenheimring Hockenheim, Germany Road course
2014 Nürburgring Nürburg, Germany Road course
2015–2017,
2019[N 1]
Raceway Venray Venray, Netherlands 1/2-mile oval
2012–2016,
2018
Tours Speedway Tours, France 0.357-mile oval
Notes
  1. ^ a b c Initially scheduled to host a round in 2020, but the round was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.[13][14][15]

Cars

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is based around the concept of using NASCAR-style cars on European circuits. The Euro-NASCAR cars are inspired by American NASCAR cars but were built specifically for European tracks. The cars use a V8 engine creating 450 hp. It uses a four-speed manual gearbox, is rear-wheel drive and weighs 1225 kg.[16]

A new generation of car, dubbed as the "Next Level" package, was introduced in the 2016 season. The Next Level car saw the introduction of a new aerodynamic package and a redesigned composite body, and the cars adopted an 8-inch rear spoiler instead of the wing used in the previous generation of cars.[17][18]

The first Next Level car to be introduced was the redesigned Chevrolet SS composite body, which was unveiled during the 2015 season-ending race at Circuit Zolder.[19] Resembling the body of its American counterpart, the car made its racing debut in the 2015 Race of Champions.[20] The Ford Mustang body also made its test debut soon after.[21] Starting in 2018, the Chevrolet composite body was updated into a Camaro ZL1-based body style, although the SS body is still legal for competition as of the end of the 2019 season.[22]

Outside of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series competition, the NASCAR Euro Series cars are used in the Race of Champions.

Starting in 2019, the Euro Series featured General Tire as the exclusive tyre supplier for the series.[23] Previously, Michelin was the exclusive tyre supplier from the inaugural season in 2009 until 2017, while BFGoodrich became the exclusive tyre supplier for the 2018 season only.

Specifications

Current available models includes the Chevrolet SS (top-left), Ford Mustang (top-right), Toyota Camry (bottom-left), and Chevrolet Camaro (bottom-right).
  • Chassis: FIA-certified tubular steel tube frame with safety roll cage.
  • Engine Displacement: 5.7 L (5,700 cc) (350 in³) V8.
  • Aspiration: Naturally aspirated.
  • Transmission: 4 Speed Manual.
  • Power: 400 hp (298 kW)
  • Weight: 1,225 kg (2,701 lb)
  • Height: 1,300 mm (51 in)
  • Length: 5,080 mm (200 in)
  • Wheelbase: 2,740 mm (108 in)
  • Width: 1,950 mm (77 in)

As manufacturer involvement is limited, model representations are used for aesthetic purposes only. The current models available are the Chevrolet SS, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Toyota Camry, with the Dodge Challenger model being available to be used in the past before it pulled factory support for all NASCAR series outside of Canada in 2012.

Championships

  • EuroNASCAR Pro drivers championship – Main championship open to gold/silver/bronze drivers
    • Junior Trophy – For drivers aged 25 years and under
    • Challenger Trophy – For amateur drivers
  • EuroNASCAR 2 drivers championship – Restricted to silver/bronze drivers
    • Legend Trophy – For drivers aged 40 years and over
    • Rookie Cup – For drivers making their Euro Series debuts, regardless of age or experience
    • Lady Cup – For female drivers
  • Teams championship – Scored by points collected by each car in EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2 divisions

The Euro Series champions and other standout drivers of the series will be honored at the yearly NASCAR Home Tracks Champions Awards at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.[24] Until the 2014 season, the EuroNASCAR PRO champion wins entry into a NASCAR race, the UNOH Battle at the Beach (formerly the Toyota All-Star Showdown), while the Elite 2 champion wins a NASCAR test.

A NASCAR Whelen Euro Series race week is run over three days and includes four races, two EuroNASCAR PRO races and two EuroNASCAR 2 races. Practice is held on Friday, followed by qualifying and the first races of EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2 on Saturday, before the week closes with the second races of EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2 on Sunday. The only exception to this were the races at Venray after its reintroduction to the calendar in 2019, which was scheduled to run over two days and only included two races, one EuroNASCAR 2 race on Saturday and one EuroNASCAR PRO race on Sunday.[25]

Champions

Three-time NWES Champion, Ander Vilariño.
Season EuroNASCAR PRO Champion EuroNASCAR 2 Champion Team Champion
Racecar Euro Series
2009 France Lucas Lasserre (1) France
2010 France Lucas Lasserre (2) France
2011 France Éric Hélary France France Hélary Racing Team
Euro-Racecar NASCAR Touring Series
2012 Spain Ander Vilariño (1) France France -
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series
2013 Spain Ander Vilariño (2) France France TFT - Banco Santander
2014 Belgium Anthony Kumpen (1) Belgium Belgium PK Carsport
2015 Spain Ander Vilariño (3) Italy Gianmarco Ercoli San Marino GDL Racing
2016 Belgium Anthony Kumpen (2) Belgium Stienes Longin Belgium PK Carsport (2)
2017 Israel Alon Day (1) France France Knauf Racing
2018 Israel Alon Day (2) France Ulysse Delsaux France RDV Compétition
2019 Netherlands Loris Hezemans Denmark Lasse Sørensen Netherlands Hendriks Motorsport

All-time wins

All-time wins for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series under NASCAR official sanctioning, starting from the 2012 season; does not include Racecar Euro Series wins. All figures correct as of the 2020 NASCAR GP Belgium at Circuit Zolder (October 4, 2019).

Key
Driver competed full-time in the 2020 season
Driver competed part-time in the 2020 season
Bold NASCAR Whelen Euro Series EuroNASCAR PRO Champion
Italics NASCAR Whelen Euro Series EuroNASCAR 2 Champion

Elite 1 / EuroNASCAR PRO (ENPRO)

Driver Wins First Last
Spain Ander Vilariño 22 2012 Nogaro 1 2019 Valencia 2
Israel Alon Day 21 2015 Umbria 1 2020 Zolder 2
France Frédéric Gabillon 12 2013 Tours 1 2019 Brands Hatch 2
Belgium Anthony Kumpen 10 2014 Le Mans 1 2017 Hockenheim 2
Netherlands Loris Hezemans 6 2018 Hockenheim 1 2020 Vallelunga 1
Spain Borja García 5 2014 Nürburgring 1 2017 Hockenheim 1
Italy Eddie Cheever III 4 2014 Brands Hatch 1 2015 Valencia 1
Italy 4 2015 Venray 1 2019 Most 1
France 2 2012 Le Mans 1 2012 Le Mans 2
Switzerland 2 2013 Monza 2 2014 Valencia 1
France Romain Iannetta 2 2012 Spa 2 2015 Brands Hatch 1
Italy Gianmarco Ercoli 2 2018 Brands Hatch 2 2020 Vallelunga 2
Spain Javier Villa 1 2012 Brands Hatch 2 2012 Brands Hatch 2
Austria Mathias Lauda 1 2014 Tours 2 2014 Tours 2
Belgium Marc Goossens 1 2017 Zolder 2 2017 Zolder 2
France Lucas Lasserre 1 2018 Franciacorta 2 2018 Franciacorta 2
France 1 2019 Zolder 1 2019 Zolder 1
Belgium Stienes Longin 1 2019 Zolder 2 2019 Zolder 2
Denmark Lasse Sørensen 1 2020 Zolder 1 2020 Zolder 1

Elite 2 / EuroNASCAR 2 (EN2)

Driver Wins First Last
France 12 2014 Nürburgring 1 2017 Zolder 2
Belgium Stienes Longin 9 2015 Tours 1 2016 Zolder 2
Australia Josh Burdon 7 2013 Nogaro 1 2013 Le Mans 1
Denmark Lasse Sørensen 7 2019 Franciacorta 1 2019 Zolder 2
France 4 2013 Dijon 1 2013 Le Mans 2
Italy Gianmarco Ercoli 4 2015 Valencia 1 2015 Zolder 2
France 4 2014 Brands Hatch 1 2018 Valencia 2
France Ulysse Delsaux 4 2017 Valencia 1 2018 Hockenheim 1
Austria 3 2014 Umbria 2 2015 Tours 2
Switzerland Gabriele Gardel 3 2014 Le Mans 2 2016 Zolder 1
Brazil 3 2017 Venray 1 2018 Franciacorta 1
Belgium 3 2017 Zolder 2 2018 Hockenheim 2
France 3 2018 Brands Hatch 2 2019 Franciacorta 2
Switzerland 3 2019 Valencia 1 2019 Hockenheim 1
Belgium 2 2012 Nogaro 1 2012 Nogaro 2
France 2 2012 Valencia 1 2012 Valencia 2
France 2 2012 Le Mans 1 2012 Le Mans 2
Belgium 2 2014 Valencia 1 2014 Valencia 2
Belgium Denis Dupont 2 2014 Tours 1 2014 Tours 2
Spain 2 2015 Umbria 2 2016 Brands Hatch 2
Belgium 2 2018 Franciacorta 2 2018 Zolder 2
Germany 2 2020 Vallelunga 1 2020 Vallelunga 2
Czech Republic 2 2020 Zolder 1 2020 Zolder 2
France 1 2012 Brands Hatch 1 2012 Brands Hatch 1
Brazil 1 2012 Brands Hatch 2 2012 Brands Hatch 2
Belgium Loic Deman 1 2012 Spa 1 2012 Spa 1
Belgium Marc Duez 1 2012 Spa 2 2012 Spa 2
France 1 2013 Tours 1 2013 Tours 1
Belgium 1 2014 Umbria 1 2014 Umbria 1
France 1 2014 Le Mans 1 2014 Le Mans 1
Austria 1 2015 Brands Hatch 1 2015 Brands Hatch 1
Italy 1 2016 Tours 1 2016 Tours 1
Italy 1 2017 Franciacorta 2 2017 Franciacorta 2
Italy 1 2019 Valencia 2 2019 Valencia 2
Italy Vittorio Ghirelli 1 2019 Venray 2019 Venray

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "NASCARs European union". motorsportmagazine.com. Motor Sport. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Racecar Euro-Series approved as new international FIA series" (PDF). racecar-series.com. Team FJ. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
  3. ^ "Industry Insight: Jerome Galpin, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series President & CEO". epub.performanceracing.com. Performance Racing Industry. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  4. ^ "LUCAS LASSERRE TOOK PART IN NASCAR: WHAT A RACE!". motul.com. Motul. 17 March 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Touring Series" (PDF). Racecar-series.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-04-12. Retrieved 2013-07-07.
  6. ^ "NASCAR: RACECAR Euro Series enters NASCAR family". auto123.com. Auto123. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Concept". NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Retrieved 2013-07-07.
  8. ^ "A new era for NASCAR in Europe". NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. 2013-07-01. Archived from the original on 2013-07-10. Retrieved 2013-07-07.
  9. ^ "Michelin extends NASCAR deal — in Europe". Tire Business. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  10. ^ "NASCAR, Whelen Engineering announce multi-year extensions". nascar.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  11. ^ "TEN-YEAR EXTENSION FOR NASCAR IN EUROPE!". euronascar.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  12. ^ "NWES Unveils Exciting 2020 Calendar". euronascar.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. 22 October 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  13. ^ "NASCAR GP UK AT BRANDS HATCH TO RETURN IN 2021". euronascar.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. 23 July 2020. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  14. ^ "BACK ROARING: NWES UNVEILS REVISED 2020 SCHEDULE". euronascar.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. 12 June 2020. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  15. ^ "NWES TO CROWN 2020 CHAMPION WITH HISTORIC DOUBLE EVENT AT VALENCIA". euronascar.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. 24 August 2020. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Cars' Specs". NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Retrieved 2013-07-07.
  17. ^ "NEXT GENERATION EURO NASCAR". Racecar Engineering. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  18. ^ "NASCAR Debuts Whelen Euro Ford Mustang". Speed Sport. 7 December 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  19. ^ http://hometracks.nascar.com/nwes/elite-1/story/new-2016-nwes-car-unveiled_10022015
  20. ^ http://hometracks.nascar.com/nwes/elite-1/story/2016-nwes-car-rocks-roc_11242015
  21. ^ http://hometracks.nascar.com/nwes/elite-1/story/2016-nwes-ford-mustang-makes-test-debut_12072015
  22. ^ https://hometracks.nascar.com/2018/02/09/the-new-chevrolet-camaro-introduced-in-nwes/
  23. ^ "Euro NASCAR appoints General Tire new Official Tyre Partner". NASCAR Home Tracks. October 25, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  24. ^ "NASCAR Sets Dates & Venues For Postseason Awards". speedsport.com. Speed Sport. 30 May 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  25. ^ "NASCAR expands across Europe with extended 2019 NWES calendar". hometracks.nascar.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. Retrieved 16 December 2018.

External links