As part of the Drivers Exchange Program that the NASCAR Home Tracks provided for the drivers that competed in NASCAR’s various regional and international touring series, the defending Euro Series champion Loris Hezemans is scheduled to be making his NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series debut this weekend at Mexico Series’ season finale race, the Gran Premio FedEx at Mexico City’s Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
Hezemans’ Mexico Series debut will represent the second part of this year’s Drivers Exchange Program. The first part of the program was held in April when K&N East and two-time defending Mexico Series champion Rubén García Jr. took part in Euro Series’ season opening races at Valencia. García, who currently leads the Mexico Series championship standings and is on the verge of winning his third title in the Mexico Series to tie Germán Quiroga’s record of the most titles in Mexico Series, competed for Alex Caffi Motorsport in the No. 1 Ford Mustang at Valencia.
Hezemans will be driving the No. 05 PEAK Antifreeze / NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Commscope Ford Mustang in an entry that was fielded by the Morales family. With six Mexico Series titles – including four consecutive titles from 2008 to 2011, the Morales family is known for perhaps being the best team to have ever took part in the Mexico Series.
The Morales family team currently fields five teams across Mexico’s three national series: The No. 1 FedEx / Telcel / Blu Ford Mustang for the open wheel-turned-stock car star Luis Michael Dörrbecker, the No. 2 Arris / Telcel Ford Mustang for 2014 and 2017 champion Abraham Calderón, the No. 3 FedEx / Infinitum Ford Mustang for 2008 and 2012 champion Jorge Goeters, the No. 4 Arris / Telcel Ford Mustang for 2018 FedEx Challenge champion Rodrigo Rejón, and the No. 5 Tiger Racing RT Toyota Camry for Iran Sanchez in the FedEx Challenge – Mexico’s equivalent of the Xfinity Series.
Hezemans’ car will be specifically entered by Jimmy Morales, the man behind Morales family’s success in NPMS. Jorge Goeters’ crew chief, Xristos Pappas, will be doing double duty this weekend as he will be the crew chief for both Goeters in the No. 3 car and Hezemans in the No. 05 car at Mexico City.
“I am so happy about this opportunity and I want to thank the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and NASCAR for it. I can’t wait to get the weekend started in the NASCAR Peak Mexico Series,” said Hezemans, who was recently honored at the annual NASCAR Awards in Charlotte.
“It’s great to race in NASCAR in so many different countries. I’m a competitive person, so I’ll do my best to learn as much as possible about the car, the track and the series as quickly as possible and be able to compete at the front. I think we have a good chance to bring home a good result and a top-5 would be awesome, so I’m really going to get the maximum out of myself. I definitely want to have fun and respect all the championship contenders but I will give them a good fight.”
This will be the second occasion where Hezemans will race in a North American NASCAR series this year after he previously made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut with B.J. McLeod Motorsports in the No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro in the CTECH Manufacturing 180 at Road America.
“It is the Euro NASCAR duty to offer our drivers the best possible opportunities all over the world and help them build their professional career,” said NWES founder, President, and CEO Jerome Galpin to euronascar.com “In 10 years, we have already over 25 drivers racing NASCAR in North America from Late Model to the Cup level! We are very happy to offer this race to Loris and we will push hard to continue to develop these programs for all our drivers to race at every level of NASCAR.”
The Gran Premio FedEx at Hermanos Rodríguez’s short road course layout – which features the oval turns 1 & 2 and the new Peraltada infield section used in the modern Formula 1 layout – will take place on 1 December to conclude the action of the 2019 NASCAR season. The action that NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series and its two feeder series – FedEx Challenge and Mikel’s Trucks – are going to get the passionate Mexican fans up on their feet as the three series will be crowning their 2019 champions this weekend.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Victor Pineda / Loris Hezemans.