Whelen Motorsports

Growing numbers and a strong grid highlight the 2014 season debut

NWES • April 07, 2014

Blois, France - NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is about to start its 6th season, the 3rd under the NASCAR banner with a field stronger and larger than ever before. A formidable mix of former Euro-NASCAR drivers and prestigious new entries will launch 30 cars into turn one on Saturday April 12 for the season opener : the first Valencia NASCAR Fest.

An outstanding drivers lineup in ELITE 1 division

The anticipation is growing to see who will be the fastest and who will contend for the 2014 European NASCAR crown. Ander Vilarino will go out in search of an historic three-peat, but will face an huge opposition counting both NWES veterans and prestigious new entries.

"The new teams and drivers will make the Series even more interesting and competitive," said two-time-champion Vilarino, who will drive once again the #2 TFT-Banco Santander Chevrolet SS. "There is a lot of anticipation and nobody will know where they are until the first race. Having the season’s opener in my home country is fantastic, I won both races in 2012 and I expect to be strong in Valencia".

Back will be most part of the 2013 Championship’s top-10. Runner-up Frederic Gabillon (#12 Still Racing Chevrolet Camaro) and 3rd-placed Yann Zimmer (#3 TFT-Moser Vernet Ford Mustang) - who also won the Jerome Sarran Trophy and will now be a teammate of Vilarino at TFT - will both try to dethrone the defending champion, just like Romain Iannetta (#23 RDV Competition-Mc Donald’s Chevrolet SS), Freddy Nordstrom (#44 Still Racing Chevrolet Camaro) and Nicolò Rocca (Caal Racing Chevrolet SS). Former 2013 ELITE 2 Champion Anthony Gandon (TFT-Leclerc Chevrolet SS) is moving up to ELITE 1 division.

The list of the new entries is very impressive and filled with some of the best European racers. Christophe Bouchut (#77 DF-1 Racing by B66 Chevrolet SS), Bas Leinders (#32 RCP - Marc VDS Toyota Camry), Mathias Lauda (#66 DF-1 Racing by B66 Chevrolet SS) Bert Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS), Eddie Cheever III (#51 Caal Racing Chevrolet SS), Kevin Gilardoni (#99 Max Papis Racing Chevrolet Camaro), Anthony Kumpen (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) will definitely want to start on the right foot their first NASCAR campaign. The Spaniard Borja Garcia (#1 Ford Autolix Competition Ford Mustang) will be back after a strong outing in 2013 Le Mans Finals, as will Fabrizio Armetta (#31 Caal Racing Chevrolet SS). Other big names like Fabrizio Del Monte (#6 Events4you by Nocentini Chevrolet Camaro), Victor Gonzalez Jr. (#19 Ford Autolix Competition Ford Mustang), Gian Maria Gabbiani (#33 Overdrive Chevrolet SS), Victor Guerin (#83 Brazil Team Chevrolet SS), Andrea Larini (#22 Overdrive Chevrolet SS), will make the first round of the 2014 season unforgettable for the Valencia crowd.

Who will score the first win of 2014? Predicting the outcome of the season opener has never been so hard, but as Ander Vilarino demonstrated in 2012 and 2013, winning early is very important and we can be sure the races in Spain will be thrilling.

A promising mix of young talents and experienced drivers in ELITE 2

The ELITE 2 division is the ideal stepping stone for young talents willing to build themselves career in NASCAR, but also the best choice for experienced drivers that will make every race a hard-fought battle for the win and deliver a great show for the fans.

NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Young Drivers Program members Ulysse Delsaux (#23 RDV Compétition Chevrolet SS) and Thomas Ferrando (#22 Overdrive Chevrolet Camaro) will both be on the grid after getting experience by racing NASCAR in the US and testing a lot in Europe, as will be rookies Philipp Lietz (#86 Renauer Motorsport Ford Mustang), Philippe Valenza (#4 Ford Autolix Competition Ford Mustang), Francesca Linossi (#31 Caal Racing Chevrolet Camaro) and Erika Monforte (#88 Euro Kart Racing Chevrolet Camaro).

They will mix it up with returning NWES veterans Leonard Vernet (#3 TFT-Moser Vernet Ford Mustang) and Jerome Laurin (#13 Bull Racing Team Ford Mustang) - first and second in the Legend Trophy in 2013 - Eric Quintal (#2 TFT-Banco Santander Chevrolet SS), runner-up in the Gentleman Chevrolet Camaro) and Nathalie Maillet (#46 RCP - Marc VDS Toyota Camry). New entries like Maxime Dumarey (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS), Simone Laureti (#51 Caal Racing Chevrolet SS), Luca Pirri (#99 Max Papis Racing Chevrolet Camaro), Marcal Melo (#82 Brazil Team Chevrolet SS), Alex Fabiano (#83 Brazil Team Chevrolet SS) and Alessandro Tonoli (#6 Events4you by Nocentini Chevrolet Camaro) will also want to be out front, making the ELITE 2 division even more uncertain.

And the challenge is not over, because following the great interest around the series, Team FJ will inaugurate two brand new Cups, rewarding Rookies and Ladies in a season that promises to be nail-biting from the start in Valencia to the end in Le Mans. Drivers, start your engines!

First edition of the Valencia NASCAR Fest: 2014 will see NASCAR Whelen Euro Series take center stage in 4 dedicated events. Next weekend in Valencia will mark the first edition of the Valencia NASCAR Fest, a racing-centered weekend that will be filled by attractions for all the family, on and off the track.