Nicolo Rocca made a good start into the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. The Italian ended up inside the top-5 twice, grabbed a podium finish and came out of the weekend third in the EuroNASCAR PRO standings. The 27-year-old, who’s driving his second season for DF1 Racing, is satisfied with the results and believes he can play an important role in the title battle.
After joining the series in 2013, Rocca has been a regular guest in Victory Lane: In 2015 he won three races but was beaten by Ander Vilarino and Alon Day in the championship battle. In 2019 he scored one win and landed on the podium five times, but again came short – this time against Loris Hezemans. In 2021, Rocca wants to break the curse and become the fifth EuroNASCAR Champion in the history of NWES.
“That is definitely the plan as I have been fighting for the championship until the last event already twice in my NWES career and I know what I can do better,” said Rocca. “DF1 Racing has also been working very hard over the winter to give me the best possible car and now it feels like we will be able to fight for top positions at all events.”
Valencia proved to be a very strong season opener for Rocca, who almost got his first win of the season in EuroNASCAR PRO Round 1 where he finished five seconds behind Hezemans, who won both races of the weekend.
“Valencia was a good warm up for the season,” Rocca explained. “Considering that we had no winter testing, we missed out the first practice session and I was driving a bit more conservatively given it was the first event of the season, two top-5 finishes and a podium were a good start into the 2021 season. We are definitely aiming for more!”
Rocca joined DF1 Racing in 2020 but it took him and the #22 Chevrolet Camaro a few events to find the right pace. He still managed to grab two top-5 and six top-10 results over the course of the season. He thinks that the DF1 Racing crew got a breakthrough this year and that’s why he wants to accomplish a very special goal in his career.
“I really want to give the #22 crew and DF1 Racing the first race win with me at the wheel,” said the Italian, who already won races with CAAL Racing and PK Carsport in the past. “Winning with the third different team in NWES is the short term goal of mine. The Brands Hatch and Most events are coming up and I really like both tracks. But generally speaking, I will try to be as consistent as possible in all events to bring the title fight to the wire!”
The next NASCAR Whelen Euro Series race weekend takes place on July 3-4 at the Indy Circuit of Brands Hatch, UK. Qualifying and all races will be broadcasted live on EuroNASCAR’s social media platforms – YouTube, Facebook, Twitch – and Motorsport.tv.
Credits Featured Image: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard