Three-time series runner-up Frédéric Gabillon has confirmed that he will be returning to NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in 2021 with RDV Competition as he reveals that that the upcoming 2021 season could potentially be the last in his racing career.
Frédéric Gabillon, three-time NASCAR Whelen Euro Series runner-up and the driver with the most starts in EuroNASCAR PRO history, has confirmed that he will be returning to NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for what could potentially be his final season.
Gabillon, who missed the 2020 season after RDV Competition decided to withdraw due to the effects of the pandemic, will be returning to the No. 3 RDV team for a sixth season with the French team. The No. 3 RDV team, which were scheduled to brought back the team’s famous black-white split livery last year, will use a brand new EuroNASCAR FJ 2020-based chassis in 2021.
Long-time crew chief Claude Galopin will continue to act as Gabillon’s crew chief for 2021. The pairing of Galopin and Gabillon has scored a total of 7 race wins and 2 second-place championship finishes in the series since the duo first formed their partnership in 2015.
“We have a brand new car and we had almost a year and a half to get it ready and I can’t wait to bring it to the track,” said Gabillon in Pure Racing Pit Reporters.
“It’s really important to build a solid relationship and work year after year with the same great people. I think my crew chief is one of the best there is. He’s an old school guy and when he trusts you, he’s really making a difference turning your feedback into a better car. Franck (Violas, owner of RDV) is such a great friend and we spend a lot of time together when I’m in Paris. I am really happy to continue with them.”
Gabillon, whose racing career was mostly spent in various sports and touring car championships in France, joined NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in 2013 and quickly established himself as one of the series’ elite drivers after he became the closest driver to beat the all-conquering Ander Vilarino on his debut year, winning 4 races and finished the year just 4 points behind Vilarino in the final standings.
In the years that have followed, Gabillon went on to win 8 more races – third in the all-time wins list – and set a streak of 84 consecutive race starts that placed him as the driver with the most starts in Euro Series’ top class. Despite this, the honor of becoming a champion still eludes Gabillon as he hopes that he can finally be crowned as the Euro Series champion in 2021.
“I’m definitely closer to the end of my career than to the beginning of it and I’ve been saying this the last couple of seasons,” comments Gabillon on 2021 potentially being his last. “I’m 45 years old and I spent 30 years racing, so maybe this will really be my last season behind the wheel. I spent a lot of time chasing the NWES title and I will do my best to finally bring it home.”
While the official announcement doesn’t state whether his teammate Ulysse Delsaux would be returning to Euro Series or not, reports from The Checkered Flag reveals that Delsaux is also scheduled to be returning to the series this year. Delsaux would be scheduled to drive the renumbered No. 10 RDV car this year.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.