Yesterday, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series announced the provisional calendar for the 2020 season, which will feature the same general structure as the 2019 season: 7 rounds in 7 different European countries with 13 races scheduled for both classes.
Despite this, there has been several major shake-ups in the schedule, among which is a new host venue for NASCAR GP Italy. As previously announced on 17 October, NASCAR GP Italy is set to move to ACI Vallelunga Circuit for the 2020 season after a three-year stay at Castrezzato’s Autodromo di Franciacorta. Vallelunga will be the fifth different Italian circuit and 17th circuit overall to host a NASCAR Whelen Euro Series race.
Vallelunga also moves back to September as NASCAR GP Italy is scheduled to be returning to its initial spot in the calendar as the fifth round of the season. The rounds at Brands Hatch, Most, and Venray will move up one spot in the calendar as a result of this change.
Another major change in the calendar is the swap between the final two rounds of the season: The NASCAR GP Germany at Hockenheim and NASCAR GP Belgium at Circuit Zolder. The swap meant that Zolder will now host the sixth round of the season – the round number where Zolder was traditionally placed in the 6-round schedule years of the series – while Hockenheim will be hosting the season-finale round for the first time.
Hockenheim will be the third different track to host the season-finale round of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Before Hockenheim and Zolder, Le Mans’ Bugatti Circuit hosted the season-finale round from 2012 until 2014 before Zolder became the host for the season-finale round for the last five years.
The series’ double-points Playoffs is also receiving a change for the 2020 season. Starting from next year, the Playoffs will be extended to 6 rounds as Vallelunga joins Zolder and Hockenheim as the rounds that will host Euro Series’ championship-deciding rounds.
On the same announcement, the series also announced that all three divisions of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will be rebranded starting from 2020. Elite 1, Elite 2, and Elite Club will be rebranded to EuroNASCAR PRO, EuroNASCAR 2, and EuroNASCAR Club Challenge respectively.
“This is probably the best calendar in the series’ history,” said NWES founder, President, and CEO Jerome Galpin to euronascar.com. “We are very proud and fortunate to work with such fantastic track partners. We all share the common goal to offer to European fans a unique at-track experience based on Pure Racing, full access to the competition and great American fun festivals!”
“Next year’s schedule is a testament to the strength and popularity of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series,” said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR’s Chief International Officer to euronascar.com. “The series will bring exciting, side-by-side NASCAR racing to fans in seven countries across Europe. Our proximity to several big cities – including the new American Festival in Rome – will continue to make it easy for families to see our style of racing up close.”
The 2020 season will begin on 25-26 April with the Valencia NASCAR Fest at Circuit Ricardo Tormo, which will act as the season-opening round for the 7th consecutive year. There will be a gap of 6 weeks before the series returned for the second round, the 8th edition of American SpeedFest at Brands Hatch’s Indy Circuit.
The third round of the season is scheduled to be held on 21-22 June with the return of NASCAR GP Czech Republic at Autodrom Most before the regular season closes on 11-12 July with the NASCAR GP Netherlands at the half-mile Raceway Venray oval. Just like in 2019, there will be only one race scheduled for both classes at Venray – one 70-lap EuroNASCAR 2 race on Saturday, and one 100-lap EuroNASCAR PRO race on Sunday.
The extended Playoffs will start on 12-13 September at Vallelunga before the series headed to Zolder on 3-4 October. As previously mentioned, Hockenheim will host the season-finale round for the first time this year, with the NASCAR GP Germany scheduled to close out the 2020 season on 17-18 October.
For the EuroNASCAR Club Challenge, four rounds have been selected to host NWES’ regularity-based class. Most will be replacing Franciacorta’s spot in the Club Challenge calendar while Valencia, Zolder, and Hockenheim will once again host a Club Challenge event in 2020.
2020 SEASON CALENDAR
|ROUND (RACE)||DATE||RACE NAME||CIRCUIT|
|1 (1)||25 April||NASCAR GP Spain – Valencia NASCAR Fest||Circuit Ricardo Tormo|
|1 (2)||26 April|
|2 (3)||6 June||NASCAR GP UK – American SpeedFest VIII||Brands Hatch Indy Circuit|
|2 (4)||7 June|
|3 (5)||20 June||NASCAR GP Czech Republic – Autodrom Most NASCAR Show||Autodrom Most|
|3 (6)||21 June|
|4 (7)||11 July||NASCAR GP Netherlands – EuroNASCAR 2||Raceway Venray|
|12 July||NASCAR GP Netherlands – EuroNASCAR PRO|
|5 (8)||12 September||NASCAR GP Italy – American Festival||ACI Vallelunga Circuit|
|5 (9)||13 September|
|6 (10)||3 October||NASCAR GP Belgium||Circuit Zolder|
|6 (11)||4 October|
|7 (12)||17 October||NASCAR GP Germany – American Fan Fest||Hockenheimring National|
|7 (13)||18 October|
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.