Yesterday, it was announced that former NASCAR NEXT graduate, Survivor contestant, and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West competitor Julia Landauer will be making the move to Europe to compete in the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season. She will be competing full-time with PK Carsport in the EuroNASCAR 2 class this year.
The announcement would mean that Landauer is scheduled to make her first full-season campaign in NASCAR since 2017, where she raced full-time in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West with Bob Bruncati’s Sunrise Ford Racing. After a two-year stint in K&N West, she moved to Canada to race in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series where she competed part-time for the last two years.
Landauer had previously tested the EuroNASCAR cars in December via her participation in the Drivers Recruitment Program as the sole female and American driver to take part in the December Test Days. Landauer had positive impressions in her first EuroNASCAR test, stating in her first impression video that the EuroNASCAR cars were quick and have plenty of mechanical grip.
“My goal for 2020 was to find a series that I could race full time in,” said Landauer on the announcement. “A few people told me about the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and how competitive and fun the series is, so I did research and thought it would be an awesome series to race in. I wanted to race full time for a competitive team and PK Carsport is just that. I was introduced to Anthony Kumpen a few months ago and we had good discussions, so I’m really looking forward to working with him and the team, learning more about the cars, and fighting for wins every race.”
“I’m really excited to race on road courses all over Europe and I liked how the car handled in the Recruitment Day. My goal is to run up front, win races, and contend for the championship. And to have a lot of fun. There are so many great tracks! I’m particularly excited for Valencia and the oval in The Netherlands.”
PK Carsport, the team that Landauer is scheduled to race with, has been involved in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series since 2014. The team proved to be competitive from the get-go as the team’s drivers Anthony Kumpen and Maxime Dumarey won both the Elite 1 and Elite 2 titles in PK’s debut year, a feat they repeated two years later with Kumpen and Stienes Longin’s title victories in Elite 1 and Elite 2 respectively.
The team also secured the Team’s Championship title in both years, making PK Carsport the only team to have win multiple Team’s Championship title in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series so far.
PK Carsport continued to be a front-running team in 2019 despite the loss of Anthony Kumpen as a driver due to his four-year suspension by the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium as a result of failing a drug test during the 2018 24 Hours of Zolder. PK Carsport’s Elite 1 drivers Stienes Longin and Nicolò Rocca finished second and third in last year’s championship while mid-season acquisition Vittorio Ghirelli also managed to secure a top three finish in the Elite 2 standings.
“At PK Carsport are all enthusiastic to have Julia in our team for 2020,” said Kumpen, who now works as the team manager for PK Carsport’s Euro Series operations. “She’s a very talented driver, she proved she can deliver very good results and that’s exactly what we want at PK Carsport: to race at the front with both our cars in both NWES championships.”
“Expectations will be high for her and we’ll do our best to help her become the first woman to win a NWES championship. We’re very excited about this and we think she’s a perfect fit for our team. We’re looking forward to a great season with Julia at the wheel of a PK Carsport car!”
PK Carsport has confirmed that they will announce which car Landauer will drive at a later date. It is expected that PK Carsport will continue to field both the No. 11 and the No. 24 teams in 2020 and it is possible that the team will expand into a three-car team if the No. 98 team moved to a full-time schedule this season.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Julia Landauer Racing.