After a 2021 campaign that was unquestionably the best so far for the Dutch team in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, Team Bleekemolen will be back in EuroNASCAR in 2022 with strong ambitions. The Dutch team will field the #69 Mustang for Sebastiaan Bleekemolen and Melvin de Groot and add the #72 Mustang in EuroNASCAR 2 for Michael Bleekemolen in select events.
After sitting out of the pandemic-hit 2020 season, Sebastiaan Bleekemolen returned to the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series with a bang in 2021. The 43-year-old earned his first podium finish in the opening event at Circuit Ricardo Tormo and added two more podiums on the way to the 8th place overall at the end of the season. The Dutchman had the pace to contend for the win on several occasions and is poised to build on a strong base.
“I really look forward to this season,” said Bleekemolen. “Not only as a team we’ve learned a lot last year, but also as a driver I’ve made some steps forward. My goal is to do better than 2021 and I’m confident that it can happen. Technically we’ve invested a lot of time in the car and rebuilt it from scratch. So no excuses anymore!”
Melvin de Groot took the wheel of the #69 Mustang for the first time in September 2021 to sub for Michael Bleekemolen, who was sidelined by a back injury. De Groot immediately found a strong pace in the EuroNASCAR 2 championship, scoring three top-10s in four starts and climbing on the third step of the podium at Circuit Zolder. The Dutchman, who also secured three Legend Trophy wins, will be back full-time in 2022.
“I’ve been racing for 30 years now and that’s a very long time. When I made my debut in NASCAR last year I really enjoyed racing again. It was a lot of fun with the manual shifting and the hard work you have to do to go fast,” said de Groot. “For me the most important thing is to have fun again at the wheel like I had last year. At the same time I’m not racing to fill the field, I’m a competitor and the goal may be to fight for a place in the top-5 or the top-6 in the championship. There are plenty of good drivers and I still need to learn a lot, but I hope we can be at the front and that’s what I’m going for!”
Three-time Legend Trophy race winner Michael Bleekemolen will finally return behind the wheel for a part-time program in EuroNASCAR 2. The outgoing former Formula 1 driver will further improve his record as the oldest driver in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series with his 72 years of age.
The 2022 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season will kick off on May 14-15 at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain, with four exciting sprint races. All the action from the NASCAR GP Spain will be streamed live on the EuroNASCAR social media profiles – Youtube, Facebook and Twitch – as well as on Motorsport.tv.
Credits Featured Image: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard