Yesterday, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series announced that the series has signed a three-year extension contract with Raceway Venray to bring the Euro Series to the half-mile, progressive-banked oval in the Netherlands until at least 2022.
After missing the cut for the 2018 season, Raceway Venray returns to the Euro Series calendar as the sole oval round of the 2019 season. Unique for both this year and the series is that only one race is scheduled for both classes instead of the usual two races per round, with all Elite 2 on-track activities was held on 13 July while the Elite 1 class would do the same on 14 July.
Vittorio Ghirelli scored his first career Euro Series victory in the 70-lap Elite 2 race after fending off a late charge by Myatt Snider on Saturday, while Loris Hezemans scored a popular victory in front of his home crowd in the 100-lap Elite 1 race on Sunday.
Despite a depleted field with only 15 cars taking part in the Elite 2 race while only 20 cars started the Elite 1 race, the action in the races at Venray this year proved to be just as intense as it had been in the years past and this proves to be enough for track owner Henry Maessen to sign the contract extension and bring Euro Series to Venray for three more years.
“We had some really good races at Raceway Venray this year with cars racing at 160 kph average speed on this 800 m, high-banked race track. This is totally unique in Europe and our teams and drivers really enjoyed it!” said Euro Series President and CEO Jerome Galpin.
“We are proud to offer our teams, drivers, and fans a very electric calendar, mixing F1 and MotoGP tracks alongside legendary circuits. Adding this unique oval makes the EuroNASCAR one of the biggest challenges in European racing!” further adds Galpin.
Raceway Venray becomes the third track to officially confirm their spot in the 2020 calendar. Circuit Ricardo Tormo was the first track to confirm its spot in the 2020 calendar with the announcement on 18 April that the Euro Series has signed a five-year contract extension to bring Euro Series to the Valencia track until at least 2024.
Autodrom Most would follow after it was announced on 25 July that the Czech Republic track will receive a three-year contract extension after a successful first visit to Most for the inaugural OMV MaxxMotion NASCAR Show on 30 June and 1 July.
On the Valencia contract extension announcement, it was also reported that Brands Hatch, Zolder, and Hockenheim had also prolonged the deal to host their respective Euro Series rounds, meaning that up to six tracks have potentially confirmed their spots in the calendar for 2020.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will be returning to action for the sixth race week and the first round of the Playoffs, the American Fan Fest Semi Finals at Hockenheim on 21-22 September. With plenty of talented drivers across both classes that are vying for a shot on the title, this year’s Playoffs is shaping up to be the most intense Playoff yet in the Euro Series.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.