Another notable name has officially announced their participation in the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series as Team Bleekemolen announced yesterday that they will be returning to the grid this year. Both Sebastiaan and Michael Bleekemolen will be returning behind the wheel of the team’s Ford Mustang for a second season in Europe’s premier stock car racing series.
The Bleekemolens endured a challenging debut season in their first year of racing stock cars last year. Sebastiaan, who competed in the Elite 1 class, only scored two Top-10 finishes throughout 2019 – both happened at Most – with a best finish of 5th and finished 16th in the final standings after being forced to retire in three out of the four double-points Playoff races.
Sebastiaan was left disappointed with his performance last year and is hoping that Team Bleekemolen is able to made a step forward and fight for the overall podium finishing positions in 2020.
“We are not happy at all with the results in the 2019 season,” said Sebastiaan on their performance last year. “We are competing to win and my personal best result was a fifth place. My father did well in the Legend Trophy, which is great as he is 70 years old! We struggled with the brakes, but we think we have solved the problem over the winter. I hope we are set to fight for podium finishes in the 2020 season.”
Michael, on the other hand, had a considerably better first season. At 70 years old, he is by far the oldest driver in the current EuroNASCAR grid, but he is also one of the only 9 drivers to compete all 13 races in Elite 2 last year.
Michael scored four Top-10 finishes throughout 2019 with a best finish of 7th in the first race at Brands Hatch. He finished 12th in the final standings, tied in points with Memphis Racing’s Ian Eric Wadén. Michael also narrowly lost the Legend Trophy to Wadén by virtue of tiebreaker – 7 Legend Trophy wins for Wadén compared to Michael’s 3 wins.
Winning the Legend Trophy – EuroNASCAR 2’s sub-classification for drivers aged 40 and above – will be the main goal for Michael as he also aims to score an overall podium finish this year.
“My goal is to grab the Legend Trophy in 2020,” said Michael Bleekemolen. “But I’m also aiming at reaching the overall podium in some races, so we have a lot of work to do in the coming season. NASCAR is great! The cars are powerful, the competition is hard and all race weekends are organised very well. I can’t wait to start the season in Valencia!”
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard / Bart Dehaese.