Whelen Euro Nascar Valencia Festival
8 – 9 April 2017
By now people know where I like to go on a weekend when there are fast cars, lots of noisy V8 engines and fun in the paddock. You are right: Whelen Euro Nascar Valencia Festival at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Cheste, Valencia.
Firstly, a big thank you to the Circuit and their press office for again allowing me and therefore Iberianmph.com access to do what we do best and that is to get up close.
Let me say from the outset that the organisers arranged a great fun weekend for all the family. Not only did Euro Nascar have 4 great races over the weekend but also CER-GT endurance saloon car racing and drag car exhibition, stunt cars and motorcycles, bouncy castles of all types for the kids, food and drink stands and lots more.
I arrived at the track in time for Euro Nascar qualifying with Borja Garcia car #1 qualifying in pole for Elite class 1 and Thomas Ferrando car #37 for Elite class 2. Over 20 cars competed in each class.
It was my intention to interview Freddie Hunt and Mathias Lauda (sons of past Formula One World champions) but it was not to be, basically because neither of them were racing in Valencia. However, not to be defeated I decided to find another driver. My first choice was Arianna Casoli driving car no 54 for CAAL Racing. This is her 2nd year of Euro Nascar. A very nice young lady who is very positive and who enjoys the fast bumper-to-bumper racing. You can see my interview with Arianna later.
The first Euro Nascar race on Saturday started at 13.30hrs. Borja Garcia led from start to finish for the 16 lap race. Second was car 66 DF1 Racing driven by Christophe Bouchut and third was Freddy Nordstrom car number 44 CAAL Racing. I should point out that Hunt and Lauda had previously driven car no 66, just my luck.
After the first race the CER-GT cars took to the track. This is a Spanish Championship of endurance racing and Valencia is holding the first race of the 2017 season. The teams will also visit Jerez, Motorland, Jarama, Albacete and Barcelona during the season. The cars are of many classes depending on engine size etc and range from Renault Clio Cup cars, Suzuki Swift cup, Seat Leon, Porsche 991. Ginetta G50 V6 GT4 cars and many more. The race in Valencia is 2 hours and 1 lap.
Race 2 Euro Nascar started at 17.30hrs and again the pole position car no 37 led from start to finish although he was pushed all the way by car # 3 driven by a young Ulysse Delsaux. Again the car # 66 this time driven by Maciej Dreszer came in third.
In both races the safety car was deployed which I felt was unnecessary and spoilt the true racing. I suppose the Race Control director felt a car in the gravel was a hazard. How we got by years ago I don’t know.
On day 2 the weather was bright and sunny. Arriving in the paddock I saw Borja Garcia (winner of race Elite class 1 the previous day). Now was my chance, ‘Borja can Iberianmph.com have an interview with you?’ See what Borja had to say later.
As usual I saw the cars leave the pit lane and make their way to the grid and so did I for some of the obligatory pics. It is good to see the drivers in their cars quietly contemplating their strategy for the rolling start. This race was for the Elite 2 drivers, which included 2 lady drivers Arianna Casoli in car #54 and Carmen Boix in car #1.
It was a good race with no incidents and the winner was 19 year old Ulysse Delsaux car #3 who drove a superb race and carried out a magnificent overtaking manoeuvre on the inside of turn 11.
Race 4 of the weekend for the Nascar cars was again won by Borja Garcia car #1 he did a great start from third on the grid to second by the first corner. Lap 2 Garcia did a great overtake on the inside into the first corner and led the race from then on.
So what does this all add up to? Yes you can have great racing and a fun family day out, so it’s a win-win situation.