After being initially scheduled to compete with Braxx Racing, Marc Goossens has made the decision to switch teams to CAAL Racing following Braxx’s apparent withdrawal from the 2020 season. He will now be joined by Dylan Derdaele, who is scheduled to make his full-time Euro Series debut in the No. 98 Ford Mustang team.
Yesterday, Marc Goossens and Dylan Derdaele confirms that they will be racing in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for the 2020 season after it was announced that both drivers will be switching to CAAL Racing as drivers of the No. 98 team. Goossens will continue to compete in the PRO class, while Derdaele will be making his full-time Euro Series debut in the EuroNASCAR 2 (EN2) class after several outings in the PRO class for the last two years.
The announcement came after speculations arise that Braxx Racing will not continue forward with their initial plans to field two cars in the 2020 season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, something that Goossens – who was initially planned to compete alongside Sven van Laere in Braxx’s No. 91 team – hinted on yesterday’s announcement.
“It has been a long and eventful off-season for sure. While the initial plan was for me to share a car with Sven Van Laere and for Dylan to race on another car, the COVID situation made it impossible, so with Dylan we decided to join forces. When we ended up talking with CAAL Racing they approached this deal from a racing standpoint and we found ourselves very much in tune,” said Goossens to euronascar.com.
“I raced against CAAL Racing many times and there’s no doubt they are ultra competitive, but they also provide a family atmosphere, which is the same thing we do at Belgium Racing and therefore I’m sure we’ll be in the best possible situation.”
Joining Goossens as his new EuroNASCAR 2 class teammate in the No. 98 CAAL team would be Dylan Derdaele. Derdaele and Goossens has worked together for a long time prior to this, as Goossens currently serves as the Program Manager for Belgium Racing, Derdaele’s family-owned sports car team. They also have won the 24 Hours of Zolder together as teammates in 2015 and 2016.
Derdaele, the 28-year old sports car ace from Neerpelt, made his Euro Series debut in the PRO class for Braxx at the 2018 season finale race in Zolder. Showcasing plenty of promise, he secured an 8th place finish in the Sunday race – his best finish so far. Derdaele then returned for a part-time appearance with PK Carsport during the 2019 Playoffs, where he once again showed promise despite an incident-filled season.
“With Marc we agreed that for my first complete season in NASCAR, it would be better to gain some more valuable experience and focus on the EuroNASCAR 2 championship.” said Derdaele to euronascar.com.
“It will definitely help me to have a deeper knowledge of the car and the series and become a winner in NWES. CAAL was very helpful in creating a situation in which we could share the car. It is going to offer us great opportunities to compete at the front while giving our partner the best value both on a national and international level. “
Goossens and Derdaele’s addition provides CAAL Racing with a duo of potential championship contenders and further increases the level of talent that CAAL had for their 2020 season campaign.
“We are very happy to have with us a great professional like Marc and a driver with a lot of potential like Dylan,” said CAAL Racing’s team manager Luca Canneori.
“This season is strange and difficult because of the pandemic, but in January and February we worked hard on the cars and we’ll keep doing that towards the start of the championship. We have a strong lineup and we want to fight for the win.”
It is currently unknown on whether the No. 98 team is considered as a continuation of CAAL’s No. 27 team or as a new entry that acts as a continuation of the PK Carsport No. 98 team that Derdaele raced with during the 2019 Playoffs.
As part of their 2020 season preparation, CAAL is scheduled to be undertaking another day of testing at Vallelunga on August 24, which would see the No. 98 Derdaele Ford Mustang making their first on-track appearance after yesterday’s announcement.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Dylan Derdaele.