After being spotted testing for the team earlier this month, Nicolò Rocca has been confirmed to be the driver that will race DF1 Racing’s No. 22 Chevrolet Camaro in the PRO class this year as a replacement driver for Ander Vilariño, who withdrew from the season due to the effects caused by the pandemic.
DF1’s quest to find a replacement driver for the withdrawing Ander Vilariño in the No. 22 team has been completed yesterday after it was officially announced that Nicolò Rocca has signed a contract to become the No. 22 team’s full-time driver in the 2020 season.
The announcement came after Rocca was seen testing the car during DF1’s second pre-season test at Autodrom Most earlier this month. Rocca, who finished third in the championship last year, will be competing for the full season in 2020 and his contract had an option that allows the team to extend it for the 2021 season.
“I’m looking forward to finally getting started and to joining DF1 Racing,” said Rocca to euronascar.com. “The team has already proven that it can be successful and is striving for more. Everyone there believes they can do that with me. This is exactly the kind of organization I want to race for and I will do my best to repay the trust placed in me by all the team members.”
“I thank the team’s management for this opportunity and my partner Itarle AG for their support during this short season. My goal is to drive consistently and to fight for the podium and victory in every race.”
Rocca had a breakthrough year in his return to full-time competition in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series last year. Driving for PK Carsport, Rocca scored one win, 5 podium finishes, and 11 top-10 finishes on his way to finish a career-best third place in the championship standings, having fought for the title all the way to the season finale at Zolder.
“We are very happy to have signed a top driver in Nicolò, who was right inside the title fight in 2019 until the final races,” said DF1’s Head of Motorsport Norbert Walchhofer. “Nicolò will get the completely new rebuilt #22 car. Nicolò is focused and showed his strength already during the test in Most. He will work together with our mechanics in our workshop at the end of the week to find the best possible setup for Vallelunga in order to fulfill his dream of winning the title.”
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / DF1 Racing.