Yesterday on July 16, Autosport.be announced that PK Carsport is going to field a third car for the first time in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. The third car, which is scheduled to make an appearance in the Playoffs rounds at Hockenheim and Zolder, is going to be driven by Dylan Derdaele in the Elite 1 class and by Pol van Pollaert in the Elite 2 class.
Uniquely, PK Carsport’s third car will feature a triple-digit number as the car is scheduled to run No. 999 in the races that it will take part this season. The No. 999 Ford Mustang will be the first triple-digit numbered car in any NASCAR series since Stephane Sabates ran the No. 100 car in the Monza round of the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season.
“It’s the ideal time to build a new car,” said PK Carsport team manager and former two-time Euro Series champion Anthony Kumpen. “The next race is scheduled in September, so there is enough time to prepare the car. We already built a new car in the summer break last season and we had no problem. It’s a win-win situation and Dylan has the skills to be very successful in NWES. We will expand our engagement in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, (and) we have the skills and the experience to make this new adventure a great success.”
Dylan Derdaele (born 29 May 1992) is a driver that has plenty of experience in GT racing. He primarily competes in series such as Belcar and Porsche Supercup, with his most notable success being the winner of the 24 Hours of Zolder for 4 consecutive years in 2013 to 2016. He also has previously competed in series’ such as the Blancpain Endurance Cup and in Super GT with Pacific Racing.
Derdaele has had some previous NASCAR Whelen Euro Series experience, as he already made his debut in the series last year at the season finale round at Zolder to replace Jerry de Weerdt in Braxx Racing’s No. 78 Mustang in the Elite 1 class. Derdaele made impressions in his debut as he manages to enter the Superpole and would finish in 13th and 8th place in the two races that was held at Zolder last year.
“Last year I decided to give Euro NASCAR a try,” said Derdaele. “The weekend in Zolder was not perfect, but I made it into Superpole. There I started to think about racing more in the series. I will start in Hockenheim on a completely new car. Of course I want to be successful, but I do not want to interfere in the title race between my new teammates Stienes Longin and Nicolo Rocca and in effect, due to the championship rules I will not take away any points.”
As for Pol van Pollaert, this will also mark his return to the series since his debut in Hockenheim last season, when he drove for PK Carsport’s No. 24 team in the Elite Club category. Pollaert, who primarily works as the Commercial Director for Quatra, was also scheduled to drive in the Elite 2 class at Hockenheim last year, but ultimately did not start in both Elite 2 races.
Based on Derdaele’s statement, there are possibilities that Derdaele or van Pollaert will be ineligible to score any Championship points for the 4 races they’re scheduled to participate this year. The reason for this points ineligibility is currently unknown.
PK Carsport have enjoyed a stellar season this season, as Stienes Longin is currently leading the Elite 1 Championship despite being winless, while teammate Nicolo Rocca currently sits in third in the Elite 1 Championship and has scored a victory at Most earlier in the year.
It’s also a successful year for the team in Elite 2, Andre Castro has come close to the win multiple times before Vittorio Ghirelli – who switches team from Racers Motorsport to PK Carsport at Most – was able to grab his first victory in Venray last weekend to cement his place as one of the title contenders in the Elite 2 Championship coming to the Playoffs in September.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will return in 21-22 September for the first race week of the Euro Series Playoffs, the American Fan Fest Semi Finals at the famed Hockenheimring. All races of this season will be aired live on FansChoice.tv, Motorsport.tv, and the official Facebook and YouTube channel of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.