Mixed conditions made the 2023 November Driver Recruitment Program test at Fontenay Le Comte a real challenge for the eight drivers who signed up for the first leg of the official NASCAR Whelen Euro Series discovery tests. Not only did the drivers experience a pure 400 horsepower race car on the track without any electronic aids, but they also met the NWES organization led by EuroNASCAR President and CEO Jerome Galpin. All drivers were amazed by the unique character of the car and are now looking for opportunities to join the series for the 2024 season.
Eight drivers took on the Circuit de Vendee: Henry Clausnitzer (GER), Sasha Radola (HRC), Constantin Schoell (AUT), Julien Noel Rehberg (GER), Thomas Blumberger (GER), Daniel Boys (UK), Kelvin Hassell (UK) and Florian Moral (FRA).
Henry Clausnitzer, 35-year-old from Annahutte, Germany has a rich background in open wheel and touring car racing, but is looking to take the next step in his career. The reigning Boss GP Champion enjoyed the raw power of the EuroNASCAR car and handled the H-pattern shifts like he had never done anything else in his life. After his first stint, Clausnitzer was impressed with the handling of the car.
“I’ve been following the EuroNASCAR Series for a few years now and I’m really happy about the opportunity to test at Fontenay Le Comte,” he said. “It was a nice experience to drive the car, meet the organization team and enjoy the environment. The mixed conditions gave me the chance to feel the different handling of such a pure race car. It was also nice to talk to Jerome Galpin about the many possibilities to be involved in EuroNASCAR in the future. I enjoyed every single second of the whole day here in France.”
Traveling to France from Croatia was Sasha Radola. The 34-year-old is a hillclimb legend in his home country, but wants to add road course racing in the future. That’s why Radola took the opportunity to participate in the 2023 DRP and test one of the EuroNASCAR race cars. Under the guidance of EuroNASCAR 2 Champion Paul Jouffreau, NWES President Galpin and 2023 Rookie Trophy contender Thomas Dombrowski, the Croatian showed good progress in his sessions. The Croatian Hillclimb Champion was very happy with the day.
“It was a very interesting day for me,” he said. “There is no race series that offers such opportunities. It’s a good way to learn how everything works in EuroNASCAR and to try out the car. The car is different from what I used to drive, just wow! It was easy to control the car in the wet, but in the dry I learned how hard it is to get the right pace. You have to be very precise and find the perfect line. For 2024 I will work hard to be on the grid and be part of the series.”
Other notable pilots participating in the 2023 November 2023 were Constantin Schoell and Julien Noel Rehberg. Schoell has already competed in the 2023 Club Challenge with Bremotion at Circuit Zolder. The 25-year-old Austrian has already raced in top GT series in Germany and has a lot of experience. Rehberg is 17 years old and wants to make the step from karting directly into auto racing by joining the NWES in 2024.
But the DRP was not the only reason the V8 beasts were on the track in France.
NWES president and CEO Jerome Galpin was testing some parts for the 2024 season “to improve the performance and driveability” of the car. The head of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series was behind the wheel himself and said that “the DRP was also a successful day of testing to develop new technical solutions to make EuroNASCAR even better in 2024”. More information on the 2024 specification will follow after all possible options for the upcoming championship have been explored.
The DRP will continue in 2024 with another preseason test in France on February 29th and March 1st and interested drivers can apply by visiting EuroNASCAR.com/drp. The 2024 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season will begin April 13-14 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain.
Featured image by NASCAR Whelen Euro Series