Photo courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

Yesterday, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series announced the drivers that are scheduled to take part in the second – and final – edition of the 2020 Drivers Recruitment Program, which is scheduled to be held on both today and tomorrow at NWES’ official test track Circuit de Fontenay-Le-Comte. A total of 22 drivers from across the globe will take part in the December Test Day sessions for an opportunity to earn financial aid that will allow the chosen drivers to compete in the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season.

Last month, we made a similar article to help EuroNASCAR fans know the 12 drivers that are chosen in the first Test Day on 7 and 8 November and as a follow up to this article, we will give you a short rundown on the profiles for the 11 drivers that are scheduled to take part in the December Test Day session for today, with another article coming for the drivers that are scheduled to take part in tomorrow’s Test Day session.

Photo courtesy of FEED Racing France

Dorian Cazals

Date of Birth:
Birth Place: Ligue Occitane, France

The sixth and last member to be announced as the finalist for Jacques Villeneuve and Patrick Lemarie’s FEED Racing France driver search for this year, Dorian Cazals is a French karting star who competed in the local karting championships before he took part in this year’s FEED Racing France driver search. The opportunity to drive the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series cars will provide Cazals with a very different experience in comparison to the karts and Formula 4 cars that he had driven previously as he and Etienne Cheli will represent FEED Racing in this year’s Drivers Recruitment Program.

Gilles Chéron

Date of Birth:
Birth Place:

Unfortunately, there is almost no known archive record of Gilles Chéron and his previous racing exploits, so we can’t give a short profile on Cheron as he is scheduled to test the NWES cars for the first time in this week’s Drivers Recruitment Program Test Day.

Photo courtesy of FEED Racing France

Etienne Chéli

Date of Birth: 2001
Birth Place: Toulouse, France

Like Cazals, Etienne Cheli is one of the drivers that were announced as the finalists of this year’s FEED Racing driver search and narrowly missed out on an opportunity to compete in the British Formula 4 with Carlin next year after he finished second in the FEED Racing shootout to this year’s CIK-FIA KZ World Karting champion Marijn Kremers. Cheli started racing at karting in 2013 and quickly climbed into national competitions. He took part in several X30 karting seasons and participated in karting competitions across France before he joined FEED Racing this year.

While he would ultimately miss out on a Carlin Formula 4 seat next year, Cheli will be looking for a potential alternative in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series as he and fellow FEED Racing finalist Dorian Cazals will represent Jacques Villeneuve’s academy in the Drivers Recruitment Program this year.

Photo courtesy of Davide Dallara 8

Davide Dallara

Date of Birth: 31 January 1993
Birth Place: Parma, Italy

Davide Dallara, the young Italian racing driver that also works as an instructor for Andrea de Adamich’s International Center for Safe Driving, started his career in karting at the age of 12 and competed there for several years before he took a break from racing. He returned to car racing in 2017 to participate in the Time Attack Italy championship where he finished 3rd overall in his category. He made the jump to professional racing the following year when he started to compete in Griiip’s G1 Series, an Italian junior formula series in which the cars are powered by Aprilia RSV4’s V4 engine, the same engine that powered Max Biaggi and Sylvain Guintoli to championship titles in the Superbike World Championship.

While the 5.7L V8 engines that powered the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series cars would be a significant jump in both engine displacement and power for Dallara in comparison to the 999cc Aprilia V4 engine that powered his G1 car, the opportunity to test the NWES cars in today’s Test Day would provide Dallara with a chance to both further extend his racing career and earn a spot in the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series field.

Photo courtesy of Miguel Gomes Racing

Miguel Gomes

Date of Birth:
Birth Place: Portugal

In comparison to the other drivers that are scheduled to take part in today’s Test Day, Portuguese driver Miguel Gomes is unique as he came from a sim racing background. After racing offline in various sim racing games, he started racing in public online lobbies in NASCAR Racing 4 before he moved to online leagues with NASCAR Racing 2002 Season and NASCAR Racing 2003 Season. He spent most of his sim racing career in NR2003 before he switched to iRacing in 2011.

He made the transition to real-life racing in 2007 when he tested the VSR V8 Trophy car at the British Rockingham before he began competing in the now-defunct European Late Model Series. He had a previous experience with driving the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series cars when he tested it at Brands Hatch in 2016, so today’s Driver Recruitment Program Test Day will mark his return to NWES after nearly four years as he chases an opportunity to fulfill his dream to be able to race in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.

Photo courtesy of Alex Lambertz Motorsport

Alex Lambertz

Date of Birth: 9 December 1997
Birth Place: Heinsberg, Germany

Alex Lambertz has proved himself to be a potential future star in this year’s GT4 European Series season. Having already scored a class victory in the famed Nurburgring 24 Hours in 2017, the young German won his debut GT4 race at Misano and scored a further victory in his home race at the Nurburgring to secure a 7th place finish in the championship despite he didn’t take part in the first half of the season.

The opportunity to test out the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series car at Fontenay today can’t come at a better time for the young German as he had just celebrated his 22nd birthday three days ago on the 9th of December. While a NWES stock car is a complete opposite of the GT3 and GT4 cars that he normally competes with, Lambertz’s participation in the Test Day will provide him with a way to further extend his already-impressive racing resume.

Photo courtesy of Julia Landauer

Julia Landauer

Date of Birth: 12 November 1991
Birth Place: New York City, New York, United States

A name that is familiar to the fans of the NASCAR Home Tracks series, Julia Landauer enjoyed great success when she competed in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West back in 2016 and 2017. Her fourth-place finish in the 2016 season was the highest ever standings finish by a female driver in NASCAR history before Hailie Deegan broke the record with her third-place finish in the K&N West standings this year. She then moved to the Pinty’s Series in 2018, where she began to compete part-time in the series and she currently competes with D. J. Kennington’s DJK Racing in the No. 28 Dodge Challenger.

Outside of racing, she is a former contestant of the hit TV series Survivor and is also a well-known motivational speaker that is sought-after by corporations, universities, and conferences around the United States. Racing, however, is still very much in Landauer’s blood and with the Drivers Recruitment Program, she will be looking for an opportunity to compete full-time in the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season.

Photo courtesy of Hugo Roch Karting

Hugo Roch

Date of Birth: 2001
Birth Place: France

Little is known about Hugo Roch, although it is known that he was chosen as one of the 18 drivers to take part in the 2018 Volant Winfield. Competing along with the likes of Renault Academy driver Caio Collet and Charles Leclerc’s younger brother Arthur for an opportunity to compete for a full season in the French F4 Championship, Roch would ultimately didn’t make the cut in the Volant Winfield and returned back to karting before he was announced as part of the December Test Day participants of the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Drivers Recruitment Program.

Igor Romanov

Photo courtesy of Igor Romanov

Date of Birth: 11 June 1976
Birth Place: Rivne, Ukraine

Igor Romanov, the sole Ukrainian driver in the field for today’s Test Day, is perhaps more well known for his previous exploits as a TV journalist, cameraman, blogger, and and photographer. He has only recently began his racing career when he joined the Ukrainian Touring Cup in 2016. The following year, he competed in the Ukrainian Autospeedway Championship with a self-entered Volkswagen Golf GTI before moving to the National TimeAttack Series in 2018. In 2019, he returned to the Ukrainian Autospeedway Championship to campaign the Volkswagen Golf GTI once more.

In his journalism career, he has previously made a report on NASCAR Whelen Euro Series before, as shown with his threepart article on Ukrainian ‘s popular automotive website AutoCentre about NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ race at Tours in 2018. His encounter with the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series would ultimately allow him to join this year’s Drivers Recruitment Program as he is scheduled to test the NWES cars for the first time in today’s Test Day at Fontenay.

EDIT: Thank you to Igor Romanov for contacting and allowing us to complete your profile!

Photo courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

Fabio Spatafora

Date of Birth: 1 March 1967
Birth Place: Syracuse, Italy

The oldest driver scheduled to take part in today’s Test Day and the only driver in the 11-driver field to have taken part in a NASCAR Whelen Euro Series race week before, Fabio Spatafora finished in 17th and 18th place in the Elite 1 class races during NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ sole visit to Monza in 2013. A veteran driver with a lengthy career that spanned from junior formula, Formula 3, F3000, sportscar and prototype racing, the second Test Day session of the 2020 Drivers Recruitment Program will mark Spatafora’s return to the series after a 7-year absence as he will test the new generation NASCAR Whelen Euro Series cars for the first time today in Fontenay.

Photo courtesy of Vladimiros Tziortzis

Vladimiros Tziortzis

Date of Birth: 6 April 1997
Birth Place: Nicosia, Cyprus

Described as the “only single seater driver in Cyprus” in his official website, Vladimiros Tziortzis came from a mixed background – his mother is Russian while his father is Cypriot. He won the Cypriot Karting Championship seven times before he made the jump to Formula 4 with the SMP F4 Championship in 2017, scoring 3 podium finishes to finish in 10th place in the standings. He then moved to the Formula Renault Eurocup the following year, although he struggled in Formula Renault as he failed to score a points-paying finish in the 18 races that he took part that year.

In 2019, he joined the Italian team JD Motorsports – not to be confused with Johnny Davis’ JD Motorsports that competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series – and took part in the official tests for the Formula Renault Eurocup in Yas Marina, Paul Ricard, and Cremona to prepare himself for the 2020 racing season. Should a return to junior single seaters failed to materialize, Tziortzis could possibly make a jump to stock car racing as he will test out the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in today’s Test Day at Fontenay.

Disclaimer: All photos used in this article are courtesy of the respective sources.

3 thoughts on “Get to Know the Drivers Participating in the 2020 NWES Drivers Recruitment Program’s December Test Day – Part 1

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