Whelen Motorsports

Knauf France to Support Thomas Ferrando’s NASCAR Dream by Creating Knauf Racing Team

NWES • March 31, 2015

Long-term NWES partner step-up involvement in the sport, creates new team for 17 year old French rising star

Daytona Beach, FL - March 27th, 2015 - Knauf France announced today that the company will further increase its presence in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series by officially supporting rising star Thomas Ferrando in his quest for the ELITE 2 division title and his progress in his NASCAR career.

Coming from Go-Kart, Thomas Ferrando is the perfect example of a young European driver orientating successfully his career to NASCAR. He will drive the #37 Knauf Racing Ford Mustang, aiming to confirm the excellent results he posted in 2014 - the driver from Rians, France, won two races at the legendary Nurburgring and ended up third in the standings with 8 top-5 and 10 top-10 in what was his first year in NASCAR - and contend for the ELITE 2 Division title.

"I can’t thank enough Knauf France for giving me this tremendous opportunity. They are all great people and this is a dream becoming reality." said Ferrando. "My parents supported me on the family budget during my Go-Kart years and this is the first time I have a true sponsor. I look forward to a fantastic racing season. The competition level will be very high, but I’ll give all I have to make Knauf proud of me!"

A part of worldwide leader in extraction of gypsum and manufacturing of plasterboards insulating material production and expanded polystyrene transformation, Knauf Group, which stemmed from a family company founded in 1932 by German brothers Alfons and Karl Knauf, Knauf France considers Ferrando a perfect representative of the company’s four core values: Humanity, Partnership, Commitment and Entrepreneurial spirit. So, Knauf France decided to step up their involvement in the sport and directly support the 17-year-old talented Frenchman’s NASCAR campaign by creating a brand new team named "Knauf Racing Team" that will field a Ford Mustang in the ELITE 2 division in all 6 events of the 2015 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series calendar.

"Thomas surprised me for his maturity, his ability to listen, his determination to win. In addition to his passion, Thomas is a brilliant student and is going to study aeronautical engineering. He already shares many of the Knauf Group values and so we decided to begin this NASCAR adventure by supporting him," said Denis Kleiber, General Director, Knauf France. "This partnership is not just about running a car on track, but also about supporting a young talent in his studies by offering him training within our Group and assisting him in his professional and sporting career. In exchange for this partnership, I ask Thomas 3 things: get his degree with honors, be a European NASCAR Champion and finally get his driving license! At Knauf France, we all wait for the season to start and we are ALL behind Thomas!"

Ferrando’s NASCAR career begun in 2011, when at the young age of 14 he entered the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Drivers Development Program, testing on the European NASCAR and racing in the US at the world-famous Bowman Gray Stadium, before entering last year his first full-time season in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.

"This is exactly what our sport is about: creating opportunities for companies, drivers, teams and fans to meet and share the same passion about real racing." explained Jerome Galpin, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series President / CEO. "I’m very happy that Thomas is getting this huge support from Knauf France and for sure he is the first to pave the way. This show to European drivers that true opportunities still exist and that NASCAR is probably one of the best option for their racing career. Our job is to prepare them and create opportunities."

Knauf Racing Team is already testing on track to get ready for the season opener in Valencia. The second edition of the Valencia American Fest will take place on April 25-26 and will see the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series take center stage in a fully american-themed weekend, with four races surrounded by all sorts of family entertainment in a unique atmosphere.