While the series would return to action next week for the first ever race at Czech Republic’s Autodrom Most, this weekend two of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series cars will take part in the 19th edition of the Chinon Classic held in the historic medieval town of Chinon. Originally titled as part of an All-Star Time Attack non-championship event, this week’s Euro Series exhibition run will be used as an opportunity to not only entertain the fans, but also to showcase the Euro Series cars to the visiting French fans.
Chinon Classic, or Grand Prix de Tours as it was initially called, was first held in 2001 in Tours as an event to commemorate the 1923 French Grand Prix – the only French Grand Prix held at Tours. The actual race itself was won by the legendary Sir Henry Segrave in the Sunbeam and it was the first Grand Prix that was won by both a British driver and a British car. The event moved to the city of Chinon in 2017 and not long after the event would earn its current name of Chinon Classic.
Over the years, the Chinon Classic has proved to be one of the most popular historic car meet event in France, with more than 20,000 visitors coming to the event last year. The event itself not only features historic cars from the years past, but also modern sports cars such as the Ferrari 488 Spider and McLaren 720S and “oddities” such as an Aston Martin Cygnet and a Vespa.
The exhibition runs itself would be held on a 1.5 km track located right alongside the river Vienne. The 6-turn circuit used in the Chinon Classic features a relatively simple layout with two hairpins and two long straight sections, a suitable track to demonstrate the raw power of the 5.7L V8 engines that powered the NASCAR Euro cars.
“It will be a great event and an amazing experience to drive our Euro NASCAR cars in the streets of the medieval town of Chinon, as well as a good opportunity to meet with our French NASCAR fans,” said Jerome Galpin in the official Euro Series article that announces their participation in the Chinon Classic. “There will be free access to track and paddock as well as great show on site alongside with the historic event. For sure this will give us some ideas for the future!”
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series cars will hit the track for a total of four times – once in Saturday between 15:00 and 17:00 and three times in Sunday. There will be four drivers that will drive the cars for the Chinon Classic: Last year’s Elite 2 Champion and driver of the No. 36 Genie Civil Services Camaro Ulysse Delsaux, series founder and President Jerome Galpin, RDV Competition owner and team manager Franck Violas, and former Elite 1 record holder Wilfried Boucenna.
Galpin and Violas are familiar with doing Euro Series exhibition runs, as Galpin has taken part in the both the 2017 and 2018 editions of the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the series’ No. 50 show car, while Violas took part in last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed when his team’s No. 3 car won the right to take part in Goodwood as the Teams Championship leader coming out of the rounds at Brands Hatch, the last race of the 2018 season before Goodwood.
As for Delsaux and Boucenna, this will be the first Euro Series exhibition event that they will take part in. Delsaux’s No. 3 car was entered at Goodwood last year, but he personally didn’t take part in the event itself while Boucenna – whose record for the most starts in the Elite 1 class was beaten by Frédéric Gabillon earlier in Brands Hatch – will be returning to drive the Euro Series cars once more after being absent for this year due to him being unable to find a seat for the 2019 season after Knauf Racing’s closure in the pre-season.
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ official website and social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube will provide updates and behind-the-scenes content from the exhibition runs at Chinon Classic.
Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.