NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ unpredictable EuroNASCAR 2 class returns this weekend as 24 drivers will be looking to prove themselves as the next star in the European stock car racing scene with their participation on this week’s Delphix / NSR American Festival of Rome at Vallelunga.
The ever unpredictable EuroNASCAR 2 class will be returning this weekend as the long-awaited 2020 season will finally start with the Delphix / NSR American Festival of Rome at Vallelunga. A total of 24 drivers are ready to prove their talents in the junior class of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
With his former main championship rivals moving up to the PRO class this year, Vittorio Ghirelli looks to be the strongest favorite for the 2020 title this year. A win at Venray and a third-place finish in the overall standings showed what the ex-Auto GP champion can do in stock car racing and he will be hungry for more success in 2020 with his new team in Hendriks Motorsport.
Ghirelli’s teammates Martin Doubek and Tobias Dauenhauer are also looking to achieve success with Hendriks Motorsport this year. Doubek showed impressive speed last year with 2 podium finishes and 6 Top-10 finishes and like Ghirelli, the Czech driver will be looking to improve on what he had achieved last year.
As for Tobias Dauenhauer, the German rookie will be aiming for the top spot of Rookie Trophy and also to help his PRO class teammate – and defending series champion – Loris Hezemans to defend the Teams Championship title that the No. 50 Hendriks team earned last year.
Fellow Italian Nicholas Risitano, who scored his first career victory at Valencia last year, is also scheduled to race with a new team in 2020 after he moved to the No. 12 Solaris Motorsport team this year. His former teammate at Racers Alessandro Brigatti opted to stay with its new form FEED Vict Racing and will be joined by Simon Pilate, who has been handpicked by Jacques Villeneuve to drive FEED Vict’s No. 6 car this year after he became a semi-finalist in FEED’s inaugural Driver Search last year.
EN2’s defending team champions DF1 Racing will be putting up a brand-new squad for 2020 after the team promoted Lasse Sørensen and Justin Kunz to their PRO class team this year. Andre Castro will be spearheading the team’s title defense in the No. 22 team, while rookies Andreas Jochimsen and Marcel Lenerz are aiming to emulate the successes that have been achieved by their senior teammates last year.
PK Carsport will herald the arrival of experienced NASCAR Roots star Julia Landauer to the No. 11 team this year. Landauer, who had achieved success in ARCA West and Pinty’s Series, will be opening a new chapter in her career as she will take upon the challenge of racing in the European NASCAR championship. Joining her in the No. 24 team would be 2017 Elite 2 runner-up Guillaume Dumarey, who returns to the series after a one-year absence.
Fellow female driver Arianna Casoli returns to the No. 54 CAAL Racing team once again this year and she will be joined by three new teammates this year. Giovanni Trione, Mauro’s son, will move up from Elite Club to become his father’s teammate in the No. 31 while Max Lanza moves from The Club Motorsports to make his first full-season debut in the series.
Belgian sports car ace Dylan Derdaele, who made several outings in the Playoff PRO class races for the last two year, is also scheduled to make his first full-season debut in the series after he and teammate Marc Goossens switched teams to CAAL Racing following Braxx’s withdrawal from the series due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two debuting drivers – Alex Caffi Motorsport’s Vladimiros Tziortzis of Cyprus and Marko Stipp Motorsport’s Gašper Dernovšek from Slovenia – will be making history for this weekend as they will become the first driver from their home country to ever race in NASCAR.
Joining Dernovšek at MSM would be Kris Richard, who will be taking part in NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for the first time this weekend as a replacement driver for Kenko Miura. Miura currently is unable to enter Europe due to the flight restrictions imposed by Japan to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Italians Alex Ciompi and Francesco Garisto of 42 Racing and Davide Dallara of Not Only Motorsports will be looking for a strong result to make an impression for themselves and their debuting teams. Fellow Italian Roberto Benedetti, on the other hand, will be returning to the series for the first time since 2017.
Matthias Hauer, returning for another season with Lucas Lasserre’s Speedhouse team, and Eric Quintal, who returns to the series after a one-off drive at Valencia last year, completes the EuroNASCAR 2 grid for Vallelunga.
EuroNASCAR 2 class drivers will be hitting the track at Saturday with all on-track sessions being held on the same day as part of the compact weekend format that Euro Series will trial upon this weekend to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
All races and qualifying season will be streamed live on Motorsport.tv and the official YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch channels of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. For Italian viewers, the race will be aired live on Sky Canale 228’s MS Motor TV.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in the article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.