Italian powerhouse team CAAL Racing have announced their first set of drivers for the upcoming 2021 season after Max Lanza and Gianmarco Ercoli are confirmed to be returning to CAAL’s No. 88 and No. 54 teams this year.
Following a long period of silence, powerhouse team CAAL Racing have made their first driver announcements for the year following the confirmation that Max Lanza and Gianmarco Ercoli will be returning to the team’s No. 88 Camaro and No. 54 Camaro respectively.
For Lanza, the announcement meant that the upcoming season opening round at Valencia would see him made his return to on-track competition after his scheduled debut full season last year was cut short after he broke his hand following a high-speed qualifying crash at Rijeka.
“We are very happy to announce our first driver for the 2021 season. We’ll try to put Max in the best possible position to battle for the top spots in EuroNASCAR 2, redeem last season’s campaign that ended with an injury in Croatia.” said Luca Canneori, CAAL Racing’s team manager regarding Lanza’s return to the No. 88 team.
Rome-based consulting service start-up company Wakala will continue their primary sponsor agreement with CAAL Racing this year as the announcement also revealed that the No. 88 car will be using a black-colored livery for 2021, a contrast from CAAL’s traditional yellow-colored livery. KO2, CEPI T.A.A.S., AF Systems, and Optima Solutions are also scheduled to continue their sponsorship agreement with CAAL in 2021.
Lanza, who has made preparations for his on-track return with his participation on the Esports Series, is hoping that he would be able to capture the Legend Trophy honors as he also aims to compete for Top-5 finishes on a regular basis.
“I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel!” said Lanza regarding his return. “I really miss the adrenaline rush of a racing weekend. I’m more mature as a driver and I feel ready, the goal is to fight for the win in the Legend Trophy, which I think will be very competitive this year, but I want to have a say in the general classification. I think I’m ready to constantly finish in the top-5 and maybe, why not, on the podium. It’s not that far away.”
Lanza admits that his hand is still not fully healed, but he has been training hard during the off-season to prepare for his comeback this year.
“The hand still hurts sometimes but I almost regained full movement,” comments Lanza regarding the current status of his hand. “I’m training hard, I don’t want to leave anything on the table. I know I did everything well and I can’t wait to prove it.”
As for Gianmarco Ercoli, he’ll be hoping to make a stronger impression on the title race after an early collision with teammate Mauro Trione in the final race at Valencia costed him a Top-5 finish on the overall standings last year.
“We are happy to confirm Gianmarco for the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season,” said Canneori on Ercoli’s return. “Last year we had some bad luck in the EuroNASCAR PRO Championship and those unlucky events prevented us from scoring the results we deserved. Gianmarco proved to be a fast and mature racecar driver. Over the winter we did everything to improve our performance. Our goal is to fight for the 2021 EuroNASCAR title.”
Despite a string of bad lucks in the second half of the season such as the incident at Valencia and teammate Arianna Casoli’s massive qualifying crash at Rijeka that forced Ercoli to temporarily race Mishumotors’ second car after the car became too damaged to be repaired, Ercoli’s pace was undeniably strong in 2020.
With a win at Vallelunga, a total of 3 podiums and 8 Top-10 finishes, Ercoli will be looking to make a stronger impression as he chases the opportunity to win his first top class championship trophy in 2021.
“I am very happy to announce my deal with CAAL Racing for the 2021 EuroNASCAR Championship,” said Ercoli on his return to the No. 54 team. It’s my second consecutive year with the team and our aim is to improve. I thank my loyal partners SCM Medical, 3P Plastic Production and Levante for the great support in the upcoming season.”
“After the Final in Valencia we immediately worked hard with the whole team to improve our pace. Our goal is to do better than last season. We had our ups and downs but we proved to be very fast.”
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.