Vittorio Ghirelli will be contesting the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season with Team Bleekemolen after the Dutch team signed the Italian as the new ENPRO driver of the No. 72 Chevrolet Camaro.
The 2020 EuroNASCAR 2 champion Vittorio Ghirelli has found himself a new home for the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season. The Italian signed a contract with Team Bleekemolen to race the No. 72 Chevrolet Camaro in the EuroNASCAR PRO division this year.
The news, which was first announced by euronascar.com on 14 April 2023 before Team Bleekemolen officially announced Ghirelli’s signing on 17 April, confirmed the Italian’s plan to be one of the main challengers for the EuroNASCAR title in 2023.
“My goal is to win the EuroNASCAR PRO championship and I will do my best to achieve this success with Team Bleekemolen,” said Ghirelli to euronascar.com. “What I love about EuroNASCAR is the fans at the track. They are so passionate about racing and I want to give them a good show.”
A former champion in the now-defunct AutoGP series, Ghirelli made his EuroNASCAR debut in 2019. Racing for both Racers Motorsport and PK Carsport in the EuroNASCAR 2 division, the Italian scored his maiden victory at Venray on his way to finish third in the championship.
He became a favorite for the EN2 title in 2020 after he moved to Hendriks Motorsport’s No. 18 team for the new season. Ghirelli went on to score five victories in the last six races of the season to secure the championship title, beating teammate Tobias Dauenhauer by six points.
With the championship title in the junior division secured, Ghirelli moved up to the EuroNASCAR PRO division in 2021. Staying with Hendriks initially before he made a surprise move to Not Only Motorsport for the final round at Vallelunga, Ghirelli proved that he had what it takes to become a championship contender in EuroNASCAR’s top division.
A maiden top class win at Most, coupled with two other podiums and 11 total top-10 finishes, is enough for Ghirelli to secure fifth in the standings. Unfortunately, 2022 was a year to forget for the Italian as he only finished 13th in the standings, having finished in the top-10 just four times and retiring five times.
With Not Only Motorsport not continuing their EuroNASCAR participation in 2023, Team Bleekemolen has made the move to sign the Italian’s services as the team is looking to establish themselves as a genuine title challenger after their strong 2022 season performance.
Ghirelli will have Michael Bleekemolen, the oldest EuroNASCAR driver in history, as his partner in the No. 72 Chevrolet Camaro. Michael, who was injured in a skiing accident earlier this year, has made his first laps in a race car since the accident during Team Bleekemolen’s recent test at Oschersleben.
“I love the old school racing in EuroNASCAR and I’m here to win the Legend Trophy,” said Michael, who had confirmed his entry on the live broadcast of the 2022 NASCAR GP Belgium. “I’ve been in motorsport for 53 years now and I’ve raced in Formula One. I’m really looking forward to starting the season in Valencia.”
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