Yesterday, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series announces the revised 2020 season schedule that confirms the series’ return in September as FEED Vict Racing with Jacques Villeneuve and Patrick Lemarié visited Vallelunga to make the first on-track activity by any team in the series after the season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns.
The revised season calendar will feature just 12 races in 6 rounds, as opposed to the 13 races in 7 rounds that was planned prior to the pandemic. This came following the reveal that NASCAR GP Netherlands at Raceway Venray will be cancelled, meaning that there will be no oval round in the series for the first time since 2011, back when the series was still under the Racecar Euro Series banner.
It also meant that for the first time since 2012, that there will be no oval championship in the schedule as the round at Tours in 2012 was a non-championship event, despite the event featured star names such as NASCAR’s current Vice President of Racing Development Ben Kennedy and touring car legend Yvan Muller.
The revised calendar also revealed that the Valencia NASCAR Fest at Circuit Ricardo Tormo, which was initially scheduled to be the season opening round earlier this April, will be postponed until 5-6 December as the tentative final round of the season.
As for the American Speedfest in Brands Hatch, the revised calendar confirms that Euro Series will continue their annual visit to the United Kingdom this year, although the final date for the American Speedfest remains unknown as of the writing of this article.
In addition, as previously confirmed, Vallelunga, Zolder, and Hockenheim will maintain their initial dates while the OMV MaxxMotion NASCAR Show at Autodrom Most will be postponed until 14-15 November.
“We are very happy and proud to offer this great calendar to our competitors and European fans!” said Jerome Galpin to euronascar.com. “We would like to thank our amazing circuit partners for all their support during these challenging times. We work all together to make sure competitors and hopefully race fans will come to the races in the best possible safety conditions and we will adapt our rules and procedures accordingly. We are ready to roll and can’t wait to get back on track!”
While the series announced what we’re hoping to be the final revision of the 2020 season calendar, on track activities for the teams and drivers are resumed for the first time as FEED Vict Racing with Jacques Villeneuve and Patrick Lemarie visited Vallelunga – the site of what is now the season opening round – to conduct a test on the cars that the team will run this year.
FEED Vict, the resulting merger between Villeneuve and Lemarié’s FEED Racing and Dario Caso and Onofrio Veneziani’s Racers Motorsport, is one of the several Euro Series teams to have restarted their racing-related activities last month after lockdown restrictions are starting to get eased across the world.
The test yesterday marked the first test for Villeneuve and Lemarié with the team. Previously, Dario Caso and rookie driver Simon Pilate tested the team’s cars on 29 February as one of the last teams to test their 2020 cars before lockdown regulations forced them to stop their activities for a while.
Just like with what Cup, Xfinity, and Trucks have done on their return, all crew members of FEED Vict Racing wore protective masks and had to maintain social distancing as they worked upon the two Chevrolet’s that the team is testing this week.
For Lemarié, whose test yesterday marked his first outing on a race car in a competitive basis since his initial retirement in 2004, showed great excitement with his first test on a Euro Series car.
“Really enjoyed my first day, I can’t wait to be at the first race!” said Lemarié on Twitter following yesterday’s test.
FEED Vict will be continuing their second pre-season testing today. Villeneuve and Lemarié will continue to test the cars once again alongside Caso and Alessandro Brigatti, who will be making his first outing in a 2020 specification Euro Series car.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Calzaretta Cristian.