World of EuroNASCAR’s first Race Preview of the 2023 season will introduce all of the teams and drivers that are scheduled to take part in this weekend’s NASCAR GP Spain at Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
After six months of off-season, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is ready to kickstart their V8 motors this weekend for the 2023 season opening round, the 10th anniversary edition of the Valencia NASCAR Fest at Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
The special edition of Valencia NASCAR Fest promises to bring the excitement and unique American-inspired atmosphere to a whole new level. Helping to bring the spectacle to the Spanish race fans is the field of 29 cars and 53 drivers that have been announced as part of the Preliminary Entry List across all classes.
This Preview article is going to be the first of a three-part article, with Part 1 focusing on all of the drivers that are entered on the Entry List. Parts 2 and 3, which is scheduled to be released in the near future, will be focused on our preview for the EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2 title race.
Retaining No. 1 on their car for 2023 is Academy Motorsport, who is set to enter just two entries this year. The Preliminary Teams Entry List listed that the team have shut down the No. 2 team this year and that proves to be the case for Valencia, where Academy will be racing the No. 1 and No. 5 EuroNASCAR FJ’s.
A shake-up in the driver roster has also been announced, with India’s Advait Deodhar set for his first rodeo in the top class with the No. 1 FJ. Accompanying him is Academy’s co-owner Federico Monti, who will race the No. 1 car on both EuroNASCAR 2 and EuroNASCAR Club Challenge.
Deodhar will be joined by fellow EuroNASCAR PRO rookie Vladimiros Tziortzis, who is listed to race the ENEOS-sponsored No. 5 FJ on both ENPRO and EN2.
RDV Competition, the longest lasting team on the current EuroNASCAR grid, is prepared for a two-car entry after the Entry List revealed the addition of the No. 4 Chevrolet to accompany the team’s flagship No. 3 Ford Mustang, to be driven by Frédéric Gabillon and Paul Jouffreau.
It is likely that RDV have acquired the car and entry from Yannick Panagiotis’ Panasport, who did enter the vintage fighter liveried No. 4 Chevrolet at Valencia last year. French technician Yann Schar is set to race the No. 4 car in both EN2 and Club Challenge.
The four-time and reigning Team’s Champion Hendriks Motorsport retains the two-car team that they have from last year as the former EuroNASCAR 2 champion Martin Doubek is set for another double duty campaign in the No. 7 Orion Ford Mustang.
Hendriks, eager to retain their Team’s title for a staggering fifth season, is going to go all out as the reigning EuroNASCAR 2 champion Liam Hezemans has been promoted to the ENPRO class following his successful debut campaign last year.
Liam will be joined by Luxembourg driver Gil Linster, who will be providing the No. 50 Toyota Camry with sponsorship from cryptocurrency company Binance and American drinks company – and prominent NASCAR sponsor – Celsius.
Vict Motorsport, who took part as Racers Motorsport in 2022, is back under the Vict banner this year as Dario Caso solidifies his status as the sole owner of the No. 8 and No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro’s in 2023.
At the age of 60 years old, Caso is set to continue his participation as an owner-driver in both classes. The driver from Campobasso will race the No. 8 car in ENPRO and switch to the No. 9 car for the EN2 races.
Paolo Valeri retains his seat as the EN2 driver of the No. 8 car, while Simone Laureti returns to the series after a three-year hiatus to compete in ENPRO with the No. 9 Chevrolet. Scuderia Speed Motor is expected to help Vict field their cars once more.
SpeedHouse Racing will be bringing just three cars for Valencia as the team has chosen to not enter the No. 33 team for the season opening round. The No. 14, No. 40 and No. 64 Ford Mustang’s will represent the French team at EuroNASCAR’s traditional season opening venue.
Contrary to previous reports, Ulysse Delsaux has been revealed as the replacement of Marc Goossens in the No. 14 Ford. The 2018 EuroNASCAR 2 champion has been preparing hard to make a strong impression on his first season away from RDV Competition.
Another contrary to previous report came in the form of Néo Lambert, who will be making a straight jump to EuroNASCAR’s top division. Lambert will continue to race the car that he raced with last year, the No. 40 Ford Mustang.
Surprisingly, team owner Lucas Lasserre is back in the driving seat as the Entry List revealed him as the ENPRO driver of the flagship No. 64 Ford Mustang. The two-time champion in EuroNASCAR’s pre-NASCAR era will be replacing last year’s runner-up Alexander Graff, who has chosen to not extend his contract at the team.
In contrast to the changes made to the team’s ENPRO roster, SpeedHouse’s EN2 team will be retaining Arianna Casoli, Matthias Hauer and Eric Quintal in the cars that they raced with last year.
Alain Mosqueron and Florian Richard complete the SpeedHouse team roster in the regularity-based Club Challenge division. Casoli is also listed as an entrant in Club Challenge, although it is expected that she will be taking part for extra practice purposes.
Yellow is the new red for Race Art Technology as the two yellow hornets are ready for their first buzz of 2023. The Swiss team is hoping to swarm the top positions of the EuroNASCAR grid after a successful season that saw the team finish fifth in the ENPRO standings with Giorgio Maggi last year.
Maggi and Claudio Remigio Cappelli will be leading the team’s efforts in the flagship No. 18 Chevrolet Camaro, co-sponsored by both Cremona Gronde and Vidby. Ex-Superstock 1000 rider Thomas Toffel will run double duty in the No. 34 Camaro, while fellow Swiss racer Eduoard Fatio is listed as the driver of the No. 34 Camaro in Club Challenge.
PK Carsport is back for one purpose only: Bring Anthony Kumpen and the No. 24 team to the top step of the EuroNASCAR championship once more. The pressure is on for Kumpen, who will be the only PK driver for Valencia and the only former ENPRO champion to take part in this year’s championship.
Another single-car entrant comes in the form of Double V Racing, who will be fielding the No. 27 Ford Mustang once more. Stefano Attianese, Patrick Schober and Viktor Schiffer are all returning to the car that they raced with last year, with Attianese in particular making his first EuroNASCAR outing on a non-Italian track.
Marko Stipp Motorsport will continue to enter the No. 46 and No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro in 2023 and Yevgen Sokolovskiy will continue to drive the latter entry in ENPRO. That basically is what has been retained by MSM this year, as everything else pertaining to the German team will be different.
Gone were the Days of Thunder-inspired livery from SimThunder and the Gulf-based “No War” Ukrainian livery that has been present in the MSM Camaro’s, as it has been replaced by an uniform black color with a secondary color to differentiate the two.
Thomas Krasonis and Nick Schneider will be driving the bronze-cladded No. 46 Camaro. Joining Sokolovskiy in the red-cladded No. 48 Camaro is reigning Club Challenge champion Gordon Barnes and Mini Challenge racer Jack Davidson, who will be making his EN2 debut with MSM.
Italian powerhouse CAAL Racing is prepared to enter three teams for the 2023 season. Leading the charge is the duo of Gianmarco Ercoli and Alberto Naska, who will share the driving duties in the flagship No. 54 Chevrolet Camaro.
Marc Goossens will be looking to reclaim the magic that he had lost with his return to CAAL, the team that gave him his best championship finish back in 2020. He and Sven van Laere would finally get their chance to compete as EuroNASCAR teammates in the colorful No. 56 Camaro.
Completing the Italian team’s roster is Max Lanza and Roberto Benedetti, who will be racing the No. 88 Camaro together. Avangarde Group will act as the team’s primary sponsor for Valencia before Wakala receive their turn at Brands Hatch next month.
The loss of Roberto Benedetti wouldn’t affect The Club Motorsport much, as the Italian team will be continuing to enter the No. 55 and No. 65 Chevrolet Camaro this year.
Fabrizio Armetta will continue his owner-driver duties in the No. 55 Dinoil Camaro, which will have a new look for the new season. Riccardo Romagnoli also continues to drive the No. 65 Camaro, this time as a double duty entrant.
Racingfuel Motorsport would also compete as a two-car team in 2023, retaining the teams that they had last year. Christoph Lenz will be retained as the ENPRO driver of the No. 58 Camaro, while Alina Loibnegger is set to race the No. 94 Camaro as the sole full-time female driver in EuroNASCAR’s top class.
They will be joined by Max Mason and Nicholas “Nick” Strickler, both of whom will be making their series debuts in the EuroNASCAR 2 division with the No. 58 and No. 94 teams respectively.
Three cars would be entered by Team Bleekemolen, who had previously announced most of their roster. Sebastiaan Bleekemolen and Melvin de Groot retained their seat at the No. 69 team, while Vittorio Ghirelli and Michael Bleekemolen made up the No. 72 Ford Mustang team.
The mystery driver of Team Bleekemolen’s new No. 66 team is revealed to be Thomas Dombrowski. Dombrowski, who made several appearances with the Dutch team last year, will run double duty onboard a Chevrolet Camaro.
Completing the grid for the 2023 season are the new full-time entrants: Team Japan Needs24 and Bulgarian Team. Team Japan will have team owner Kenko Miura as its driver, with the Japanese driver and the No. 74 Toyota Camry listed as entrants in all three classes for Valencia.
Bulgarian Team, which underwent a slight change in team name on the Preliminary Entry List, will have the returning Michaela Dorcikova and team co-owner Gino Miedico entered aboard the No. 90 Chevrolet Camaro.
Bremotion, surprisingly, is not on the grid for the season opening Valencia round. There have been rumors circulating that the team has not finalized their sponsorship deals for the year and will be skipping the Spanish round before making their proper debut at Brands Hatch.
Disclaimer: Credits for all photos are listed underneath each image.
Last Updated: 4 May 2023