BLOIS, France — official release — Stephane Azemard photo — The July 19-20 weekend will see the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series make its debut in Germany at the famed Nurburgring. The European NASCAR series will close the regular season on the 3,629 km of the Eifel track and open a key market in which there is a long and intense motorsport tradition, both from the competitors and the fans perspective.
“We are very happy to enter this huge event where 200 000 fans are expected. We went there in 2010 and it’s a great honor and opportunity to come back as the official NASCAR European Series.” said Jerome Galpin, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series President / CEO.
The Nurburgring event will also play as a sort of “home race” for several German speaking teams and drivers, all coming from Austria, first among which is Tours Speedway winner Mathias Lauda (#66 DF-1 Racing by B66 Chevrolet Camaro).
“I raced a lot in Germany in the past few years and I know that the German fans are really fond of motorsport,” said the Salzburg-native, who sits third in the ELITE 1 standings. “Going to the Nurburgring with a win gives us even more confidence because now we know we can beat the best guys in the series and I always considered the German race as my best chance of the year”.
“We believe that NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is establishing itself as one of the best championships in Europe and we are very happy to race at the Nurburgring because we consider it our home race,” added Norbert Walchhofer, Motorsports Senior President at DF1 Racing by B66. “All our team is looking forward to this event.”
Neunkirchen based Renauer Motorsport is also looking forward at the German weekend as an occasion to score an important result . “We know the track very well and it might be the first time for our team to go for top 10 finish. We also expect a great weekend, as Germany is a brand new market for NASCAR and we are sure to deliver a spectacular event for the audience,” continued ELITE 1 driver Dominic Tiroch (#86 TB Renauer Motorsport Ford Mustang), who is looking for his first top-10 of the season.
“Austria and Germany are very different, but it´s a kind of home race for us. A lot of friends and guests are coming to see great NASCAR racing, and it´s their first NASCAR experience,” added his ELITE 2 team mate Philipp Lietz (#86 TB Renauer Motorsport Ford Mustang), who is third in the division’s standings. “I learned a lot about the car at Tours Speedway and I can’t wait to get back in the car”.
“We are very happy with the Series and I’m sure that once they see what Austrian teams are doing, German teams will want to join too,” concluded team manager Sepp Renauer.
One thing is sure about the first NASCAR Whelen Euro Series event in Germany: it is just the beginning.
The Race: Germany will host the fourth event of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series calendar at the famed Nurburgring. The weekend marks the last event of the NWES regular season.
The Procedure: 26 cars will take part in the event and the field will be set by one qualifying session for each division. Each session will last 15 minutes. The four races will last 30 minutes each. In case of yellow flag, the restarts will be double-file.
The Track: The long story of the legendary Nurburgring began in 1925, when ADAC started building a permanent track on the Eifel Mountains. Opened in 1927, the Nordschleife, better known as the Green Hell, hosted the German F1 GP until 1976. The modern GP-Strecke (literally “Grand Prix Course”) opened in 1984 and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will race on the 3,629 km variant also used by DTM.
The event: The four races of the The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series races are held in the contest of the FIA Truck Grand-Prix, one of the most successful races in the FIA Truck Series Calendar. Every year, 200 000 fans gather at the Eifel track to enjoy spectacular racing and family entertainment in the paddock.
Race Winners: This is the first time for the Series in Germany under NASCAR Banner. In 2012 and 2013 the regular season ended on the Tours Speedway oval short track. Vilarino leads the field with 3 wins this year, followed by Eddie Cheever III, Mathias Lauda and Yann Zimmer with one win each. Three drivers have won 2 races each in the ELITE 2 division: Denis Dupont, Wilfried Boucenna and Neal Van Vaerenbergh.
First time in Germany: Germany will be the 6th different country to figure in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series calendar, which is becoming every year more international. Of the 15 events held since 2012, 9 took place in France, 3 in Great Britain, two in Spain and one each in Italy and Belgium. Italy will host its second event in September at the Autodromo dell’Umbria di Magione, while France will be once again home of the traditional Le Mans Finals.
Three German speaking drivers on the grid: There will be 3 German speaking drivers in the field at the Nurburgring, all of them coming from Austria: Mathias Lauda and Dominic Tiroch will race in the ELITE 1 division and Philipp Lietz in the ELITE 2.
Events4you by Nocentini returns: The Italian team will be back on track for the German weekend after racing in Valencia. At the wheel of the of the #6 Chevrolet Camaro there will be the team owner Marco Spinelli in ELITE 1 division, while former IMSA driver Ruggero Melgrati will compete in the ELITE 2 division.
Pole Award battle heating up: The battle for the Race And Win Pole Award will heat up at the Nurburgring. Eddie Cheever III will try to bank his third pole position of the year and put himself in a strong position to win the prestigious watch awaiting the driver who will score the highest number of poles during the season. Bert Longin, Marsilio Canuti, and Maxime Dumarey have one pole each.
Last Time Out: Tours Speedway
Tours Speedway hosted the third edition of the only NASCAR oval race in Europe. With a new 10.5 degrees banking added to turns 1 and 2, the French short track presented a whole new challenge to drivers and teams. In the ELITE 1 division, Ander Vilarino won his first oval race on Saturday and Mathias Lauda won the first ever NASCAR Whelen Euro Series wet oval race on Sunday. In the ELITE 2 division, Belgian rookie Denis Dupont conquered his first NASCAR win and went on to sweep the weekend.
Next Time Out: Magione
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series playoffs will begin in Italy, on the 2.5 kilometers of the Autodromo dell’Umbria di Magione on September 20-21. Each round of the playoffs, ending on October 11-12 at Le Mans, will award double points.