Interview with rookie driver Alex Sedgwick
Nascar Whelen Euro Series 2018
By: Tony Hall
Iberianmph.com caught up with 19-year old Alex Sedgwick who is attending his first race meeting in the Euro Whelen Nascar series at Circuito Ricardo Tormo, Valencia.
Tony: Alex, Nascar Euro Series, why?
Alex: Well, it’s a very different career choice to a lot of people I’ve raced with so far but I’ve always had a love of American NASCAR and a dream to race there and this is the first step of that. I’ve done the traditional carting, Ginettas and single-seaters and this style of racing I feel suits me a lot more and I enjoy doing it a lot more. So why not?
Tony: How do you find the car itself, a basic V8 Chevy engine, four-speed manual gearbox, 400 bhp, a biatch to drive or good?
Alex: It’s horrendous to drive but in a really good way. It’s hard to stop, it’s got loads of power but not much grip but that’s what makes it such a challenge for the driver-it’s a real fun car to drive because you are constantly fighting it. No matter what you do with the setup the car will move around underneath you because it is so heavy and a lot of power and torque but not a lot of grip. So it’s really up to the driver more so than any other series I’ve raced in because the limit of the car is really hard to reach, especially if you are learning because it’s so specialized compared to a single-seater or GT cars. It’s all down to experience and it’s a challenge but that’s what racing is all about at the end of the day.
Tony: You’ve completed your first race of 2018, how did you find it?
Alex: It was good. This weekend is a proper learning curve. I did recruiting last year and that was the first time I got to drive the car for about fifteen minutes in November. I only learnt what team I would drive for last Friday from Nascar. So here we are in sunny Valencia. I got to drive the car for the first time on Thursday and it’s my first time here as well and driving in Elite 1 with the best of the best here in Nascar. You’ve got the likes of Alon Day, Mark Goossens who is a legend in sports cars and this series. So I’ve thrown myself in at the deep end but we’ve been working on the car and we qualified P19. I made some mistakes and only got in three laps because of how short the session is but I felt I could have been higher up.
It was a good race, mid-pack so I can’t be too disappointed for my first race and I had a good fight with Bobby Labonte for most of the race and finished only a second from a NASCAR Cup Champion in my first ever EU NASCAR race.
Tony: That had to be something special fighting on track with a NASCAR legend?
Alex: I think it is the first time in my motor racing career that I’ve ‘fanboyed’ out a little bit when somebody (Bobby Labonte) came to talk to me after the race but it’s all been a very good experience and learning curve. Tomorrow we start P13 or P14 and hopefully we can go for a top ten finish.
Tony: I look forward to seeing that and hope you have a great race and success this season in Euro Nascar.