Alex Sedgwick will make his return to NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for American SpeedFest VIII this weekend as the Brit is set to bring his ARCA sponsor NBA 2K to the grid with a Kobe Bryant tribute livery on his No. 24 Academy Motorsport Chevrolet.
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ return to the United Kingdom will be made spicier as home crowd hero Alex Sedgwick is set to make his return to the series as the driver of Academy Motorsport’s No. 24 Chevrolet at Brands Hatch in the top EuroNASCAR PRO class.
Sedgwick, who competed in Euro in 2018 and 2019 before he tried his luck in competing in the United States on the ARCA Menards Series, will bring his ARCA Daytona test sponsor NBA 2K to the Euro Series grid as he is set to be running a special Los Angeles Lakers-themed livery as a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant – which also doubles as a promotion for NBA 2K21’s Mamba Forever Edition.
“I’m super excited to return to the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series with the support of NBA 2K for my home race, American SpeedFest,” said Sedgwick on his official announcement. “This event is one of my favourites on the European motorsport calendar and it’s one you just can’t miss.”
“It’s a real honour to carry the NBA 2K branding with the Lakers colours and number 24 as a tribute to Kobe Bryant. My most recent race in the Euro Series at the end of 2019 was my best result to date with a win in the [Junior Trophy] class. This time I’ll be looking to fight for the overall win!“
Sedgwick’s return was first reported by Speedway Digest earlier in the day, but Digest’s report crucially made a mention that Sedgwick is going to replace Jacques Villeneuve because Villeneuve will not be able to compete at Brands Hatch due to other commitments. Sedgwick later clarified that he is indeed going to be racing as a stand-in for JV at Brands Hatch, with JV’s No. 5 entry being renumbered to the No. 24 car for this weekend’s race.
Greg Thomas, President of Visual Concepts and the creator of the NBA 2K franchise, along with Sedgwick’s manager Ryan Johnston and Academy Motorsport team principal Piero Paolo Ciceri all expressed their support for Sedgwick on his return to the Euro Series grid.
“We supported Alex earlier this year when he tested at the Daytona International Speedway and we are proud to support his efforts at Brands Hatch in England,” said Thomas in the official announcement. “Alex is a highly competitive race car driver and we are looking forward to seeing his career grow in the NASCAR Series here in the United States.”
“We are extremely grateful for NBA 2K and for this opportunity that team Academy Motorsport / Alex Caffi Motorsport put together for Alex with a competitive car and team with the help of Jérôme Galpin, CEO of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series to coordinate all efforts,” said Johnston in the official announcement.
“Academy Motorsport / Alex Caffi Motorsport is proud to welcome in its lineup a fast driver as Alex Sedgwick, we will do our best to help Alex compete for the top positions in the highly competitive racing weekend in Brands Hatch,” said Ciceri on the announcement. “Our Team Owner Federico Monti is pushing all the team to be the best and Alex Caffi is the right person to lead the group.”
Sedgwick’s return as a stand-in for JV wouldn’t be the only change to the Euro Series grid for the series’ return to Brands Hatch. Not Only Motorsports’ rookie driver Andrea Nori would also be forced to skip the round at Brands Hatch due to major causes, while ex-Memphis driver Alexander Graff is set to be reunited with former Memphis teammates Henri Tuomaala and Ian Eric Wadén on DF1 Racing as Graff will make his return to the series with DF1’s No. 44 team.
Just like NASCAR GP Spain at Circuit Ricardo Tormo that kickstarted the 2021 Euro Series season in May, American SpeedFest VIII would have its Qualifying and Races livestreamed live on NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ YouTube channel.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of Alex Sedgwick Racing.