Whelen Motorsports

A more exceptional and strong field than ever before!

NWES • July 02, 2013

BLOIS, France - What better place than the Tours Speedway to host the first meeting in the history of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series on 6-7 July ? This is the new name since 1st July of the official NASCAR Series in Europe. This 600-meter long banked oval built with the help of Tours Evènements and the town itself offers a challenge that prestigious drivers, some of whom have come from the US NASCAR Series like Max Papis, have decided to take up. During this event, unique in Europe, the public, who will flock in large numbers to the American Tours Festival, will enjoy the on-track action provided by drivers of 11 different nationalities who all dream of becoming the ‘Lords of the Ring!’

The announcement of the long-term partnership between Team FJ and Whelen Engineering, until 2019, giving birth to the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series had something symbolic about it. It was held on Quai de Grenelle in Paris and took place between the Parisian Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. This weekend Tours will be another bridge uniting the USA and the Old Continent. Even if he’s not from the United States Max Papis considers the country as his adopted home. Since 1996 he has made his career there - since 2006 in NASCAR series in particular. He is an official Chevrolet driver in the prestigious Richard Childress Racing team; he has taken part in 35 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and this year he is running in a program in NASCAR Nationwide Series. ‘Mad Max’ at the wheel of the #33 Overdrive car will be the one everybody wants to beat!

American Rick Crawford (#9 Scorpus Racing – Spirit), the current record holder for the most NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races competed in, also enters to battle with NASCAR Whelen Euro Series aces, alongside his young fellow-countryman, Giles Thornton (#19 Scorpus Racing – RAWW) who he coaches in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Belgian Bertrand Baguette (#20 Racing Club Partners), tempted by the challenge posed by this track, also has oval racing experience after his year in IndyCar and his two outings in the Indy 500. The famous Brickyard has exactly the same 9° degree slope as the circuit in Tours. Finally, Italian David Amaduzzi (#68 T-Engineering) has also raced in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

The arrival of these drivers reinforces a field whose quality improves from year to year in which Ander Vilarino (#2 TFT Banco Santander) reigns supreme thanks to his six wins in six races. With the backup of Max Papis in his team, Yann Zimmer (#64 Overdrive) is determined to confirm his status as the driver best able to close the gap to the Spaniard. Freddy Nordström (#44 Rapido Racing by Still) also has the same ambitions and leads Frédéric Gabillon (#5 Rapido Racing by Still). The latter, who has been unlucky this season, moved up the classification at Brands Hatch and is usually Vilarino’s toughest rival in Elite Division. Romain Iannetta (#1 RDV Competition –McDonald’s), out of luck in England, will be seeking revenge and will do his utmost to shine in his new colours.

Since the start of the season the Open Division has proved to be a real breeding ground for young chargers and talented drivers. Australian Josh Burdon (#18 Scorpus Racing/Forza Motorsport) leads from Anthony Gandon (#7 TFT-E. Leclerc), both having scored victories this season, and Julien Goupy (#44 Rapido Racing by Still), while Guillaume Rousseau (#13 Bull Racing Team) is 4th. Italian Gabriele Volpato completes the top 5, but he had better watch out for Enzo Pastor (#3 TFT-Philippines), Vincent Gonneau (#15 Gonneau Racing) and Joaquin Gabarron (#5 Rapido Racing by Still) who are covered by only 7 points. Will the Tours Speedway event reshuffle the order in the championships?

A NASCAR delegation on visit : Tours Speedway, like last year, attracts NASCAR dignitaries. A delegation of officials and partners of the series will make the trip from the United States to testify in real of the intensity of European NASCAR races in Europe.

Trophies : The lead of Yann Zimmer on top of the Junior Trophy has been reduced to 1 point from Freddy Nordström. In his British garden, the Swedish sets two top-3 finish. Anthony Garbarino (#3 TFTAlpes Carrelages) complete the trio. Status quo in Challenger Trophy Guillaume Rousseau still in the lead in front of Bruno Cosin (#55 Pole Position 81) and Stéphane Jaggi (#22 OverDrive-Moser Vernet). In the Open Division, Joaquin Gabarron leads Gentleman Trophy in front of Christophe de Fierlant (#46 Racing Club Partners) and Eric Quintal (#2 TFT-Banco Santander), In the Legend Trophy, Jérôme Laurin still leads Léonard Vernet (#22 OverDrive-Moser Vernet) and Philippe Baudinière (#17 Pole Position 81).

Race : Tours Speedway

Location : Tours (Indre-et-Loire, France)
Date : Friday 5, Saturday 6 and Sunday July 7th, 2013

TV Broadcasters :
AB Moteurs (France), Premier Sports UK, Motors TV UK, Canal + Spain, Rai Sport, Speed Australia (Australia), ESPN Middle-East / Africa (50 countries in Middle-East and Asia), Esporte Interativo (Brésil), Setanta Sports Africa.

Circuit : Tours Speedway, 600 meters (0,3 mile) 9° banked oval track.

Schedule : (GMT +1)
- Elite Free Practice 1 : 17:00-17:30, Elite Free Practice 2 : 19:30-20:00 (05/07)
- Open Free Practice 1: 18:00-18:30, Open Free Practice 1: 20:30-21:00 (05/07)
- Elite Qualifying : 10:30-11:10, Open Qualifying : 11:20-12:00 (06/07)
- Elite Race 1 (Michelin 100) : 14:00, Open Race 1 (Knauf 100) : 18:00 (06/07)
- Elite Race 2 (Tours Evènements 100) : 12:00, Open Race 2 (Lakal 100) : 16:00 (07/06)

Contacts NWES : Anne Galpin, +33 6 76 04 11 89, anne@teamfj.com
Follow us on the Web : NASCARWhelenEuroSeries.com, Facebook (facebook.com/euroracecar), Twitter (@WhelenEuro), Youtube (youtube.com/euroracecar), Flickr (flickr.com/euroracecar). Live coverage and interviews on US-RACING.COM

Format : The starting grid will consist of 25 cars in Elite and 25 in Open Division. Drivers will drive during two 30 minutes free practices each and will run a qualifying lap. Elite and Open drivers each compete in two 100 lap races.

The circuit : Tours Evènements creates its own speedway by building a 9° banking, identical to Indianapolis Motor Speedway . This 0,3 mile short-track innovated last year with the organisation of the first ever NASCAR oval race in Europe which met a very popular success. This event is organized during the American Tours Festival. Each year, more than 35 000 spectators attend this meeting dedicated to US culture in which NASCAR Whelen Euro-Series make the show!