Nicolò Rocca’s potential full-time return with DF1 Racing, coupled with possible FEED Vict driver moves and PK Carsport’s third car mystery, headlines some of the latest rumors of the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season.
With 40 days to go until the start of the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season on 12-13 September at Vallelunga, there are still plenty of seats that are up for grabs in both the EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2 class.
Since the last confirmed news regarding driver and team changes on 26 June when three-time series champion Ander Vilariño announced his withdrawal from the 2020 season due to the effects of COVID-19, plenty of rumors and possibilities have circulated over the potential drivers that could fill in the remaining 22 empty seats – providing the current 33-car entry list stays for the start of the season.
Here are some of the latest rumors and possibilities that we have recapped in this article. Please note that all speculations done in this article are opinions from the owner and please refrain from using this as a “proof” until we see an actual confirmation from the parties involved.
Nicolò Rocca to Replace Ander Vilariño?
After their test at Hockenheim on mid-July, DF1 Racing returns to the track yesterday as the Austrian team visited Autodrom Most for their second pre-season testing. The test at Most saw the team tested Henri Tuomaala’s No. 23 Ford Mustang for the first time and more importantly, the test provides a glimpse on which driver DF1 could have possibly selected to replace the withdrawing Ander Vilariño.
Spotted in the test is Nicolò Rocca, who is seen to be testing the team’s No. 22 Chevrolet Camaro. Rocca, who finished 3rd in the overall standings last year and is currently without a ride in the series after PK Carsport signed Alon Day to replace him in the No. 24 team, is now seen as the likeliest candidate to replace Vilariño in the No. 22 seat with his recent test with the team at Most.
To further hint that Rocca is going to replace Vilariño, a recent post by DF1 Racing on their Facebook account stated that Rocca is going to drive the No. 22 car with Andre Castro this year. In addition, DF1 Racing also posted a photo of Rocca wearing a red team jacket alongside Lasse Sorensen and Justin Kunz in a photoshoot; red in particular being the color designated by the team for the No. 22 team this year.
Given that it seems to be confirmed that Rocca is heading to the No. 22 team for this year, we’re expecting to see an official announcement by the team within the next few weeks for further confirmation on Rocca’s status for 2020.
Leonardo Colavita to Make On-Track Appearance with FEED Vict in 2020?
Junior kart racer Leonardo Colavita’s connection with FEED Vict Racing has been noticeable since the Esports Series, when the young Italian was chosen to be driving the team’s No. 208 entry for the Esports Series. Recent social media activity from Colavita and FEED Vict suggests that Colavita will be playing a bigger role with the team for 2020.
Colavita was seen to be visiting FEED Vict’s base on 25 July, when the team posted a photo of Colavita sitting inside Patrick Lemarié and Simon Pilate’s No. 6 car via their Instagram account. The post notably featured the caption “Future driver… Leo Colavita.” Colavita would visit FEED Vict’s base again yesterday, as seen by a post shared by Colavita on his Instagram Story.
Given FEED Vict’s co-owner Onofrio Veneziani’s history of promoting kart racers to NWES and the fact that there’s at least 3 seats still up for grabs at FEED Vict, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we will see Colavita compete in the series with the team for this year.
However, based on his Esports Series entry, we’re expecting Colavita to be making appearances in the Club Challenge first before we can see him compete in the EuroNASCAR 2 class with the team.
What Does Marijn Kremers’ British F4 Withdrawal Meant for 2020?
On 30 July, Marijn Kremers – FEED Racing’s academy search winner for 2019 and driver of FEED Vict’s No. 105 car in the Esports Series this year – announced via social media that he will be withdrawing his planned entry in the British Formula 4 season with Carlin for this year.
“Due to the ongoing pandemic and the delayed start of the season, my management, FEED Racing, and myself have come to the conclusion it’s in my best interest to withdraw from this season and postpone my start in car racing to a later point. My future plans will be announced shortly,” said Kremers in the announcement.
What does this mean for the Dutchman’s 2020 plans?
Kremers’ presence in the EuroNASCAR Esports Series have brought upon the possibility of him accompanying Jacques Villeneuve in the No. 5 FEED Vict team for the 2020 season. His British F4 withdrawal statement where he said to postpone his start in car racing to a later point, however, could set this possibility aside if Kremers indeed plans to delay his car racing debut until 2021 – an unfortunate, yet understandable decision given the situation that the world is facing right now.
What Exactly is PK Carsport’s No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro?
On 2 July, approximately two weeks after PK Carsport unveiled the liveries for the No. 11 and the No. 24 teams, Heinz Performance Hasselt, the Belgian car tuning company co-owned by PK Carsport team owner Anthony Kumpen and whose Hasselt base is used as the headquarters for PK Carsport’s Euro Series operations, posted a series of photos on their social media accounts that revealed the presence of a third EuroNASCAR-spec Chevrolet Camaro with the team.
The third EuroNASCAR-spec Camaro that PK Carsport have is unveiled as the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro, as shown in the photo above. The No. 43 Camaro features Quatra, primary sponsor of the No. 24 team last year, as the primary sponsor and is shown to be having a black and blue-green colors in its livery. Interestingly, Alon Day and Guillaume Dumarey’s names are listed in the car even though they were scheduled to drive the No. 24 Monster Energy/Heinz Performance Chevrolet Camaro for this year.
No further information about the No. 43 Camaro have been released by both PK Carsport and Heinz Performance ever since the original post was posted, which begs the question:
What’s exactly the purpose of PK’s No. 43 Camaro?
Is it just a test car, or a show car for PK Carsport? Is it a third car that PK will field later in the year, much like how they fielded the No. 98 Derdaele Ford last year? Have PK Carsport acquired an entry from a team that is forced to downscale/fold their entry this year due to the economic effects of the pandemic? If it does run this year, who’s going to be driving it?
Nothing else is known of the No. 43 Camaro other than the fact it exists and we’re expected to only be able to find the answers on why the No. 43 Camaro exists if PK Carsport (or Heinz Performance) made a further official statement about its existence in the unforeseeable future.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of the respective sources.