It was a fantastic weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, highlighted by a new NWES record on the iconic hillclimb course and tens of thousands of fans getting to know the European NASCAR Series among many legendary cars and drivers in a unique event.
Four Euro NASCAR cars took part in the event in the hands of NWES ELITE 2 points leader Giorgio Maggi, American NASCAR drivers David and Todd Gilliland and NWES President Jerome Galpin.
“I want to thank the Duke of Richmond and Gordon for organizing such a great event and inviting the NWES to be part of it for the 3rd consecutive year, as well as NASCAR, Mars Inc. and General Tire for their confidence!” said NWES President – CEO Jerome Galpin. “The Euro NASCAR cars showed great performances on the hill with David, Todd and Giorgio, demonstrating they probably feature one of the best performances/fun/cost ratio in the world!”
Former NASCAR Cup Series driver David Gilliland was quickest among the Euro NASCAR drivers at the wheel of the #18 Maltesers Toyota Camry. Perfectly exploiting the performances of the new General Tire tyres, the Californian clocked a record 53.15s time in qualifying on Saturday. He then finished 11th quickest overall on a damp course in the Shootout, leading the Euro NASCAR group among some of the most iconic cars and drivers in the world. Gilliland praised the NWES car for a splendid experience.
“It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever done. I never did a hillclimb race or anything like this before and I learned a lot every time I took the wheel,” said Gilliland. “What an event, what a great opportunity. These cars are very impressive. I had seen them from afar, but being able to drive one this week has been an opportunity of a lifetime. I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to see if I can do it again some time.”
NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver Todd Gilliland had a blast driving his M&M’s Toyota and meeting the many fans that visited the NASCAR alley. Despite a problem halting his race run in the Shootout, Gilliland was all smiles at the end of the weekend.
“We almost made it to the finish line, but it was just really a lot of fun the whole time. The last run was dry in some places and wet in others, so I really had to pay a lot of attention,” said the 19-year-old up and coming NASCAR star. “This place is unlike any other I’ve been before and probably one of the most funny things I’ve ever done, so I hope to come back and do it again and I want to thank M&M’s and Mars for making it possible.”
Giorgio Maggi, whose Hendriks Motorsport team earned the opportunity to take part in the Festival of Speed by leading the NWES Teams Championship after Brands Hatch, was enthusiastic about the prize he contributed to win: “I feel very privileged to meet so many well known drivers and to race up the hill in my Euro NASCAR car. The course itself is amazing, very narrow and a lot of fun, especially in the rain. The amount of visitors was just incredible, it was fantastic to talk to them and show them how awesome our NWES cars are. I really enjoyed every second of this weekend, from the hillclimb to the fireworks show and the gala. It was mind-blowing.”
Alongside the four NWES cars, the NASCAR representative was once again among the highlights of the Festival Of Speed. NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Bobby Labonte joined the event and the latter drove demo runs for the delight of the huge British crowd. The King’s grandson Thadd Moffitt took the wheel of the legendary #43, while endurance legend Emanuele Pirro competed in the Shootout at the wheel of his US NASCAR Cup Chevrolet SS resulting quickest among the NASCAR drivers, only 2 tenths in front of the best NWES car. Ed Berrier and Andy Petree provided plenty of entertainment with their Cup Series cars and the champion #22 car of Joey Logano was also part of the show.
To cap four consecutive weeks of NWES action, the European NASCAR Series will return to the track this weekend for the only oval racing event of the season on the half-mile track of Raceway Venray, in the Netherlands. Qualifying and all the races of the American Car Fest at Venray will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, on the NWES Youtube channel and Facebook page, on Motorsport.tv and on a vast network of websites and social media profiles all over the world.