Wilfried Boucenna and Simon Pilate officially announced their plans to compete in the EuroNASCAR PRO class for Marko Stipp Motorsport and FEED Vict Racing respectively in this weekend’s NASCAR GP Croatia at Rijeka after both drivers were listed in the initial Entry List earlier this week.
Wilfried Boucenna and Simon Pilate will be making their first starts in NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ top EuroNASCAR PRO class in 2020 this weekend after their participation plans were officially announced yesterday.
Wilfried Boucenna, a highly experienced driver in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series with 93 total starts and 4 race wins across both classes, will be competing with Marko Stipp Motorsport as the former EuroNASCAR PRO class record holder for the driver with most starts is set to make his first start in the series since 2018.
Boucenna will join Francesco Garisto as drivers that will make their first starts with the German team this year. Garisto has previously announced that he will temporarily switch teams to MSM after Shadow was forced to withdraw from Rijeka due to several team members being tested positive for COVID-19.
“I am very happy to be back in NWES!” said Boucenna in the official announcement. “With the Marko Stipp Motorsport team, this is a huge opportunity for me. My goal this weekend is to show that I can still fight at the highest level and to show that the #46, and thus the Marko Stipp Motorsport team, have the potential to play for the podium.”
“After a year and a half, it is now up to me to quickly get back into the race and work with the team to be playing for the podium this weekend.”
MSM team owner Marko Stipp hopes that Boucenna’s experience will be beneficial for the team, who will be fielding two cars in EuroNASCAR PRO for the first time ever.
“Coming to a new track, it’s very important to have a well experienced driver with you,” said Stipp. “Willy doesn’t only bring a lot of experience, he also has shown his speed and skill on many occasions over the years. The whole team will benefit from his work with us.”
For Pilate, his participation in EuroNASCAR PRO this weekend will mark his first start in NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ top class after only just four starts in the junior EuroNASCAR 2 class.
As previously listed in the tentative Entry List, he will be replacing Patrick Lemarié for Rijeka as both him and JV were forced to miss the third round of the 2020 season due to a prior work obligation.
“In the absence of Jacques Villeneuve and Patrick Lemarié, held up by other obligations, FEED Racing is once again giving a talent a chance, for the Croatian race of the EuroNASCAR Pro Championship this weekend,” said FEED Racing in their official announcement. “The Belgian Simon Pilate, semi-finalist of FEED in 2019, and participant in EuroNASCAR 2 this season, will therefore have the opportunity to step up into the Pro Championship at Autodromo Grobnik.”
Pilate, personally handpicked by Jacques Villeneuve and Patrick Lemarie to drive for FEED Vict after he became a semi-finalist in FEED’s inaugural Driver Search last year, has shown impressive pace that hasn’t been showcased in his results just yet after he was involved in three separate first-lap incidents.
Nonetheless, Pilate is excited to be receiving an opportunity to compete with some of NASCAR Euro’s best this weekend.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Pilate. “I’ve already been able to discover the EuroNascar 2 championship, where there are already GT4 and F2 drivers. But here the level will go up, with very experienced drivers.”
“The car is the same, the circuit too, but the competition will be even fiercer. I’m not putting any pressure on myself but to be in the Top 10 would be great.”
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.