Marko Stipp Motorsport has announced the signing of Slovenian driver Gašper Dernovšek and Swiss driver Kris Richard as their EuroNASCAR 2 class drivers in the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season. Dernovsek is scheduled to race full-time in the No. 46 car while Richard is scheduled to be racing at Vallelunga and Zolder as a temporary replacement for Kenko Miura.
Gašper Dernovšek and Kris Richard will be racing in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series this year, as confirmed by Marko Stipp Motorsport (MSM) who recently announced the signing of both drivers to their EuroNASCAR 2 squad.
Dernovšek, who will become the first Slovenian driver to race in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, was announced to be racing the No. 46 car for the full season in 2020 on September 5.
“Gasper put in some convincing drives at the recruitment tests and also during a private test,” said MSM team owner Marko Stipp. “He’s a quick learner and comes with a good amount of natural pace. It will be interesting to join forces and to challenge for top spots in the EuroNASCAR 2 championship with him.”
Dernovšek previously competed for Lema Racing in ESET V4 Cup prior to his first Euro Series test on last year’s Drivers Recruitment Program. In addition, he also raced for MSM in the EuroNASCAR Esports Series and was one of the three drivers (right on the above picture) that tested MSM’s cars during their pre-season testing at Zolder last month.
“It has been a long wait this year to start racing, so I’m very excited to finally start the season. After a positive day of testing in Zolder I’m quite sure the car will be in top shape for every session and I will do my work on the track. Performance wise our goal is to be in top 5 every race and we are going for the Rookie Trophy,” said Dernovšek in the official announcement.
“I have been racing since 2015 and it was time to step up the game. The championship is awesome for racing and as well provides a great environment for the spectators. I have big long term goals and I am sure entering the NWES was the right step.”
Dernovšek’s attention to the business side of motorsport was also cited as one of the reasons behind MSM’s signing of the Slovenian.
“Beside his race craft, we were also impressed to find a driver that understands and cares about the business side of racing. We believe that together with him we can become ambassadors for the NWES in the Adriatic region and attract new drivers”, explained Stipp.
“Besides the racing part we are also willing to promote this amazing championship in our Adriatic region and attract some other talents to join. We have a lot of very fast drivers here in my region and NWES is a great opportunity,” said Dernovšek on his goals to promote EuroNASCAR in his home region.
For Richard, the Swiss TCR and sports car driver was officially announced to be joining MSM yesterday after his name was listed as the driver of the No. 48 DF1-MSM entry for this weekend earlier this week. Richard, who competed in Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup last year, had previously tested the Euro Series cars during the February Test Day of the 2020 Drivers Recruitment Program.
He will be temporarily replacing Kenko Miura, who has been confirmed by his agency Gold Wolf Racing to be unable to enter Europe until the Valencia doubleheader season finale round as a result of the flight restrictions that Japan imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“I would like to get into the series for myself and generally back into racing after the long time in which we were not allowed to race this year,” said Richard, who is scheduled to be racing at Vallelunga and Zolder. “In any case, I’m looking forward to the first weekend in Italy with great anticipation. In any case, the joy of driving is the most important thing for me. Of course I’m ambitioned enough to get the best possible result.”
“It’s great that with Kris we were able to convince a fast driver of our qualities at such short notice. Even though he hardly has any EuroNASCAR experience so far, we believe that we can attack together with him at the front,” said Stipp on Richard’s signing to the team.
Both Dernovšek and Richard will be making their debuts on this weekend’s Delphix / NSR American Festival of Rome at ACI Vallelunga Circuit. Both EuroNASCAR 2 races will be held on Saturday as part of the compact weekend format that NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is implementing for this weekend.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of Marko Stipp Motorsport / Kris Richard.