Last month, Racing Engineering driver Ander Vilariño told Leadlap that he isn’t satisfied with the results that he had achieved in the 2019 season despite winning the first two races of the season in his home race at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.
“I am a winning driver and we won the first two races of the season, but from then on it was a nightmare,” said Vilariño to Leadlap’s Andre Wiegold. “We were not fast enough anymore and honestly I don’t know why because we tried everything.”
He also claimed responsibility for it, with the former three-time NWES champion saying that “As a driver and part of the team during this season, I accept my part of not finding a solution to the lack of speed in the car.”
In response to Vilariño’s criticism, Racing Engineering’s team principal Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón reached Leadlap and in an article that Leadlap released earlier this week, he admits that Vilariño might be right on it.
“I think he [Vilariño] might be right,” said de Orléans-Borbón to Leadlap’s Chris Liemann. “Don’t forget we have full-time staff dedicated to NASCAR, so after each race we literally took apart the cars and analysed everything. It has been a mystery on why the car was not running so well. Ander told us that the engine might be the cause, but when you compare the data [of the No. 48 Mustang] with the other car [the No. 88 Mustang], there was not really any difference.”
“Even if you were to take a slight power difference into consideration, it cannot be enough to cause such a massive loss of competitiveness from one race to the next. There is more to it, but since we don’t have the cars anymore, it will be difficult to really find out why.”
Despite this, the No. 48 Racing Engineering team scored 2 wins, 4 podiums, 8 Top 5 finishes, and 4 pole positions across both classes to claim third place in the 2019 NWES Teams Championship behind Hendriks Motorsport’s No. 50 team and PK Carsport’s No. 24 team.
When asked if the team’s overall performance was satisfying, de Orléans-Borbón says that it doesn’t really feel satisfying. “Although, we have to also put into context that it was our first year and apart from Valencia and Hockenheim, all the tracks were new to us as was the car. Overall, it was a steep learning curve compared to most of the other teams,” further added de Orléans-Borbón.
With Ander Vilariño already announced that he won’t be back with Racing Engineering should he returned to the series next year and Myatt Snider already confirming that he will leave the team to race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series next year with Richard Childress Racing, the status of Racing Engineering’s future in the NWES remains to be an unknown. Despite this, Leadlap reports that should the team returned next year, they are currently eyeing one driver that they want to sign, with the further story of it will be revealed soon.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.