NWES • October 23, 2013
Blois, France - One week after climbing the top step of the podium in their respective categories, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Champions and Trophies winners are looking forward to a new exceptional opportunity: a NASCAR race in the USA!
Ander Vilarino (Elite Division Champion)
Vilarino NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Champion for the second year in a row, Ander Vilarino already lived the experience of racing in the pack on an oval track as a reward for his first title. The Spaniard raced in February in the UNOH Battle at the Beach, at Daytona International Speedway, FL, during the Speedweeks. "I'm very happy to have the chance to return to the United States after competing in the UNOH Battle at the Beach early this season" said Vilarino. "I have to thank again NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for offering this opportunity not only to me as a Champion but also to the Open Division Champion and to the winners of the Trophies. I don't know yet what race I will take part in and we still have to our programme with Jerome Galpin, the Series' General Manager. Although the final decision could not be up to me, I'd really like to compete in road course race in one of the national Series, This bridge between Europe and the US is a coveted occasion for us wanting to race in NASCAR".
Anthony Gandon (Open Division Champion)
Just like his TFT teammate, Anthony Gandon, Open Division Champion, already raced on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. In August the Basque raced in NASCAR Nationwide Series at Watkins Glen and Mid-ohio, becoming the first Frenchman to take part in a race in one of the three national series since 1979. "My goal was to win the Open Division Title," he explained. "The mission was accomplished and I'm very happy for all the TFT squad because this, together with Ander's title in the Elite Division, rewarded them for all the efforts they made all season long. Having already taken part in two NASCAR Nationwide Series races this summer, it could be easier for me to face pressure of my next race in the USA. Now I know how races over their work and if I'll be on the grid on an oval track, the experience I made in NASCAR Whelen Euro Series at Tours Speedway will be helpful. I'm ready to fight!"
Yann Zimmer (Winner of the Jérôme Sarran Trophy)
Since he joined the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, the Swiss never hidden his ambitions to cross the Atlantic ocean to pursue his career in the United States. By winning the Jerome Sarran Trophy, reserved for drivers younger than 25, Yann Zimmer will make the first step towards his future. "My goal was to win a race in the United States," confirmed the Overdrive driver. "I won it and thanks to NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and Team FJ I will have a superb occasion. Racing just one time could not be enough to make an impression, but it will be a great occasion because I want my future to be in NASCAR in the USA. If I get a good result on a road course, it will be considered â€˜normal' for a European driver. I'd prefer to race on an oval, then. A good result on this kind of track would gain me a lot of credibility and demonstrate that I'm capable to quickly adapt to a new environment".
Guillaume Rousseau (Winner of the Challenger Trophy)
Reserved for Gentlemen Drivers in the Elite Division with a long and rich experience in motorsports, the Challenger Trophy was the object of a long battle between Guillaume Rousseau and Bruno Cosin. The first ended up winning and will discover an American race for the first time. "When we heard that the Trophy winners would get a race in the United States, I sacrificed my chances in the Open Division to go all-in in the Challenger Trophy" sad the Bull Racing Team driver. "The battle with Bruno was tight until the last race, but I managed to come out the winner. After the Le Mans 24 Hours, racing in the USA is a dream coming true! Whatever the track will be, a road course or an oval, just the fact to be there will be worth all the gold in the world. I would probably be better suited on a road course, but being on the grid of my first American race on an oval would be a unique experience. I'm torn between the two possibilities, but I can't wait to be there!"
Joaquin Gabarron (Winner of the Gentleman Trophy)
Winner of the Gentlemen Trophy in the Open Division, Joaquin Gabarron also had the pleasure to see his #5 Chevrolet Camaro, which he shares with Frédéric Gabillon, conquer the Teams title. The American prize represents the icing on the cake for the Rapido Racing by Still boss. "For a driver in my category, racing in the United States will be a unique experience," said the Swiss. "I'm part of the big NASCAR family in Europe and I can't wait to face my American friends It will be a great opportunity to discover their way of racing and will represent a big moment in my career as a driver. We are surely better prepared to race on a road course and I think we could be a threat for them. Nevertheless, thanks to the experience we acquired at Tours Speedway, where we made the pole position, we also know how to race on an oval. Racing cars is mainly a hobby for me, but this prize, together with the passing of my father few days before the Le Mans Finals, gave me a strong motivation to win this trophy that I can now dedicate to him"
Jérôme Laurin (Lauréat du Trophée Legend)
Last but not least, Jerome Laurin, from the heights of its 62 springs, conquered the Legend Trophy in which he was opposed to drivers aged more than 50. He too will live his first experience in Uncle Sam's country. "I really don't know what to expect because I don't know where I will race" said the Pole Position 81 driver. "It will be amazing and I can't even say that it's a dream come true, because I would never imagine to be able to race in NASCAR in the United States one day. If it will be a road course or an oval, I'll know when they tell me. Then, taking my age in account, I I may issue a reserve on certain proposals", he laughs.
The program for the six drivers will be unveiled soon. Jerome Galpin, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series General Manager spent last week in Charlotte, North Carolina, to take part in various meetings and define an adequate plan for each of them.
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