Francesco Garisto and 42 Racing will be returning to NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in 2021 after it was announced that Garisto will be returning to 42 Racing for his second full-season campaign in the EuroNASCAR 2 class.
Francesco Garisto officially announces his return to the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series after it was revealed via the latest edition of Pure Racing Pit Reporters that the 18-year old Italian will be returning to 42 Racing for the 2021 season.
Garisto made his debut in the series last year as one of the drivers that the series selected from their Drivers Recruitment Program. The youngest driver that competed full-time last year, Garisto finished 9th in the EuroNASCAR 2 championship after scoring a single podium finish at Zolder and 6 Top-10 finishes.
This announcement also marks Garisto’s return to 42 Racing after he switched teams to Marko Stipp Motorsport in the middle of the 2020 season. Garisto had been initially scheduled to race with 42 Racing – competing under the Shadow Racing Cars banner – for the full-season last year, but 42 Racing team principal Marco Raggi signed a deal with Marko Stipp to have Garisto temporarily race for MSM after Shadow were forced to miss the second half of the season due to its team members being tested positive for COVID-19 prior to both GP Croatia and Valencia Super Speedweek.
“I’m thrilled to announce my deal with 42 Racing to extend our contract for the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series!” said Garisto in the official announcement on euronascar.com. “We’ve worked hard to make this possible and we’re currently giving our best to get to Valencia as competitive as possible. My learning curve has grown exponentially during the 2020 season and I didn’t expect to have the competitiveness to fight for top spots.”
“We got a good deal with Marco Raggi (42 Racing team principal), in the first year we always worked together and for the second part of the championship where I raced for Marko Stipp Motorsport, I was always under contract with Marco. We had a really good partnership with him and the team and I think we can fight for the championship,” further said Garisto in Pit Reporters.
42 Racing will continue to field two cars in 2021, although it is currently unknown whether Shadow Racing Cars will continue to partner with 42 Racing this year or not. Team principal Raggi is happy that Garisto will be returning to the team this year, although he also expressed his disappointment on his team’s withdrawal from the second half of 2020 due to COVID-19.
“We are very happy to have Francesco again with us for the campaign of next season,” said Raggi in Pit Reporters. “Just in 2019, we started with the preparation for Francesco to be present in the scholarship program and in 2020, it was our first full season despite the COVID situation.”
“We start with Francesco in the first two races in Vallelunga and Zolder. Zolder was a very nice weekend for us and for Francesco too because we grabbed a fantastic podium. I’m not happy to talk about the COVID problems, but we’re looking forward for 2021 with Francesco again. We have to be ready because we want to demonstrate that Francesco is one of the drivers capable to fight for the front positions.”
Garisto’s return makes him just the fourth driver to confirm their plans to compete in EuroNASCAR 2 so far, joining Paul Jouffreau, Vladimiros Tziortzis, and Simon Pilate as the drivers that have announced plans to compete full-time in Euro Series’ junior division for 2021.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.