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Marko Stipp reflects on oval racing as a driver and a team manager

Marko Stipp Motorsport will be back in action on July 13-14 for the only oval race of the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season. Of the previous three times Euro NASCAR visited Raceway Venray, Marko Stipp was behind the wheel in two occasions and also managing his own team once.

At Raceway Venray the German race driver and team owner finished seventh in his ELITE 2 Division debut race in 2016, while in 2017 he scored his only career ELITE 1 Division top-10 finish. In 2018 Stipp stepped back from regular racing to focus on managing his own team, competing as Marko Stipp Motorsport.

The 42-year old team boss, who built his racing career mostly in endurance categories, is also one of the most experienced oval racers in the field and his team is based at Raceway Venray. This is why Marko Stipp Motorsport could surprise results at the “fastest half mile in Europe”.

“Oval racing is a very special kind of racing, because there isn’t a single second to relax,” said Stipp. “You always have to be 100% focused. You also have to be fit, because if you lose just a little bit of speed during the race, the other guys will eat you alive. If you’re just a second slower than the other drivers, you’ll get lapped in no time.”

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Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

“It is also very important to have a proper strategy and an experienced spotter, who is you second pair of eyes on an oval,” he continued. “The spotter plays a way more important role on ovals than on road courses. You have to trust him completely. If you get all things right, you’ll have a chance to win races here at the beautiful Raceway Venray.”

This is the driver’s view, but also for the teams oval racing is something very special – and for a lot of them, something completely new. “If you already have experience racing on ovals you have an advantage for sure,” said Stipp. “We know this place very well, so we hope to be in a good spot next weekend. But we need to have a perfect weekend, if we want to celebrate on Sunday night.”

“There is no room for mistakes. If you lose the car, there is only the wall or other cars you can hit,” Stipp explained.” A single mistake can be the end of the whole weekend. That’s why you need a super efficient team.”

Stipp signed two new drivers for the July 13-14 NASCAR GP Netherlands. Salvador Tineo will take care of the #46 Chevrolet Camaro in the ELITE 1 Division. The Spaniard has a lot of experience at Venray since he raced in all the past three editions of the event in 2015, 2016 and 2017. His best results were a third place in the ELITE 2 Division and a fourth place in the ELITE 1 Division.

American rookie Andre Castro will race for Marko Stipp Motorsport in the ELITE 2 Division. Despite coming from the other side of the Atlantic, the New York native never raced on an oval before but already proved this season to be very fast in a new environment. The 20-year old already led laps and scored four second place finishes and sits seventh in the ELITE 2 points standings.

“We are looking forward to work with Salvador and Andre,” said Stipp. “Salva proved to be very successful on oval tracks in NWES and has a lot of talent. We believe that Andre Castro is much better than his current position in the championship shows. He was very fast during all Euro NASCAR weekends so far and we can’t wait to have such talented race drivers in the team.”

The two qualifying sessions and the two races of the Venray weekend will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR Youtube channel and Facebook page, Motorsport.tv and a vast network of websites and social media pages from around the world.

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Credtis: Michael Großgarten / leadlap.de