EuroNASCAR’s past and present will be united in one ride next month following the announcement that Alain Grand and Paul Jouffreau will join forces and compete together as teammates in the upcoming Ligier European Series round at Monza.
Ligier European Series’ upcoming Monza Heat next month will set up the ground for a momentous occasion as it was announced on 23 June that two drivers that represented NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ past and present will be united in the same ride.
Current Ligier European Series regular Alain Grand, who competed full-time in EuroNASCAR on the past, will have a new teammate in SpeedHouse’s rookie EuroNASCAR 2 driver Paul Jouffreau as both drivers are set to compete together in TM Evolution’s No. 11 Ligier JS2 R at Monza.
“I’m really, really excited to race at Monza!” said Jouffreau on the opportunity. “I’ll be like a kid because I’ve been watching races at Monza since I’m a baby on TV with F1.”
Alain and Jouffreau’s announcement meant that Jouffreau would replace Laurent Prunet after Prunet was listed by Ligier European Series as Grand’s teammate the No. 11 McDonald’s-sponsored JS2 R in the Provisional Entry List that was released on 23 June.
According to Jouffreau, who had tested the JS2 R’s at Fontenay last month, he had known Alain for a long time and was invited by the 69-year old Frenchman to compete in the French Mitjet 2L International at Circuit Paul Armagnac in Nogaro last year.
Jouffreau also revealed that he accepted the Ligier European Series offer because of schedule convenience: The Ligier’s would race in Italy just one week before EuroNASCAR visited Italy for the third round at Vallelunga.
“I have known Alain for a long time and little by little we became friends,” explained Jouffreau on Alain. “Our story starts when he invited myself to his 50 years anniversary of motorsport and last year he gave me the opportunity to compete in Mitjet 2.0L in November 2021.”
“The feelings were really good with him and the team so we talked about to race in Ligier and the opportunity of Monza came out, because I’m in Italy for EuroNASCAR next week.”
The chance for Jouffreau, part of EuroNASCAR’ newest generation of drivers, to be able to compete alongside Alain, who was part of EuroNASCAR’s first season under NASCAR sanctioning back in 2012, in the same ride is something that Jouffreau felt excited about.
“Alain is a really experienced driver so I’ll learn a lot from him,” said Jouffreau. “This can be 100% good for me to improve my driving skills. We talk a lot about when he competed in EuroNASCAR and he keeps some really good memories [from competing in Euro]. But I’m sure that since he left the championship, this championship has improved a lot!”
Disclaimer: Unless noted on the photo, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Bart Dehaese / Stephane Azemard.