NASCAR Whelen Euro Series has announced that the 2021 edition of their annual Drivers Recruitment Program is scheduled to be held on 10-11 March at Fontenay Le Comte, the series’ official test track.
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ annual Drivers Recruitment Program will return next year after it was officially announced yesterday that the DRP will be held on 10-11 March at Fontenay Le Comte, the series’ official test track.
The 2021 program is set to be the fourth edition of the Drivers Recruitment Program scheduled by the series, and once again it’ll provide drivers that took part with an opportunity to test the EuroNASCAR cars along with the possibility of receiving a financial “scholarship” boost to help them land a seat in the series next year.
“This Driver Recruitment Program has now become a highlight of our winter season,” said NWES President/CEO Jerome Galpin. “It’s a real pleasure to meet with drivers coming from all over the world to discover our EuroNASCAR! These past years we have seen a lot of very talented drivers joining us … and there is no best way to build the future than welcoming new talents! This is why we are here to help and financially support them to race with us!”
Unlike past Drivers Recruitment Programs, only one Test Day has been confirmed so far due to the effects and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, the series doesn’t count out the possibility of hosting more Drivers Recruitment Program Test Days if the interest was high enough, as seen with the 2020 Program’s expansion from two Test Days to three.
The scholarship will also receive some changes for the 2021 edition. The increased Season Entry Fee meant that minimum amount of scholarship that a driver will receive has been increased, from €7,500 ($8,205 at the time) to €8,750 ($10,669). However, the maximum amount of scholarship received has been decreased from €45,000 ($49,234) to €25,000 ($30,484).
For drivers that took part in the Program to join the regularity-based Club Challenge class, the amount of scholarship that the series will give is unchanged from the 2020 edition.
Despite its short history, the Drivers Recruitment Program has managed to attract high-profile names from all over the world and a rich history of providing talents that can compete in the sharp end of the field.
Its very first edition saw the likes of ex-AlphaTauri driver Daniil Kvyat and 2002 250cc World Champion Marco Melandri taking part, while the second edition of the Recruitment Program saw 1997 F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve took part to test the Euro Series cars before his then-upcoming debut in the series.
Drivers such 2019 series champion Loris Hezemans, Giorgio Maggi, Tobias Dauenhauer, Vladimiros Tziortzis, and Julia Landauer also took part in the Drivers Recruitment Program before their full-time debuts, with their results showcasing the program’s capabilities of providing talents that are able to compete at the top right from the start and finish inside the Top 5 in the overall standings of their debut season.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Klemen Sofric.