On January 7, ThreeWide released an article of their interview with Finnish V8 ThunderCars NEZ driver Santtu Vuoksenturja following the Finn’s participation in the 2020 Drivers Recruitment Program last month. On their report, ThreeWide reveals that Vuoksenturja has been chosen by NASCAR Whelen Euro Series as one of the drivers that will receive the Drivers Recruitment Program’s “scholarship” financial aid reward and 3 teams have offered him a seat to compete in the 2020 season.
Vuoksenturja is one of the 11 drivers that took part in the December 13 test sessions at Fontenay. It was his second participation in the Drivers Recruitment Program, as he had previously taken part in the 2019 edition of the Drivers Recruitment Program.
After his participation in the 2019 Program, Vuoksenturja was signed by the V8 ThunderCars NEZ team RacinGPalvelu to replace Ian Eric Wadén, who left the team to compete in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series with Memphis Racing this year. Vuoksenturja’s debut season in V8 ThunderCars saw him score several podium finishes on his way to finish in 7th place in the standings, a performance impressive enough for NWES Founder, CEO, and President Jerome Galpin to invite him to take part in this year’s Drivers Recruitment Program.
“I applied for the (2020) Drivers Recruitment Program because my first season in the V8 Thunder NEZ suited me well and I got the invitation from Jerome Galpin for the test in France,” said the 26-year old Finn to ThreeWide.
“The tests were extremely well organized. I was able to try two different cars, of which the setup of the second car worked better with me. One part of the test was held in wet conditions and on rain tires. Even in that condition, the car was great and the test was on point,” further adds Vuoksenturja.
After the tests were over, Jerome Galpin approached Vuoksenturja and revealed to him that his performance in the Test Day had been impressive enough that NASCAR Whelen Euro Series has decided that he will be chosen as one of the drivers that will receive the Program’s “scholarship” reward, a reward that will help Vuoksenturja cover up the cost of competing in the series from a minimum of the season’s entry fee of €7,500 to as much as €45,000, half of the approximate full-season budget of the series.
“In a conversation with Jerome Galpin, he told me that I had been selected for the scholarship. I’d like to use this interview to once again thank him for his confidence in me!“ said Vuoksenturja on the big reveal.
Reports from ThreeWide suggests that 3 teams have offered him a seat for the 2020 season. While it is unknown which are the three teams that have put up an offer to the Finn, it is expected that one of the team that has offered a seat to Vuoksenturja this year is Memphis Racing.
Memphis had previously competed against RacinGPalvelu for several years during the team’s stay in V8 ThunderCars and RacinGPalvelu itself is owned by Henri Tuomaala, the driver of Memphis’ No. 23 Camaro in Elite 1 last season.
Memphis and RacinGPalvelu’s connection, which effectively puts Vuoksenturja as a junior driver for Memphis, meant that it is likely that Vuoksenturja will be competing with Memphis Racing in the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season.
Vuoksenturja also hopes that he can made the jump to United States in the future, with the Finn stating to ThreeWide that “If everything works out as planned, my goal is to drive in the US NASCAR within 3 years.”
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos are courtesy of Santtu Vuoksenturja / RacinGPalvelu.