NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

2021 Whelen Euro season pushed back a month to May, GP Italy moved from spring to fall

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Credit: Stephane Azemard/NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

The 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season will begin a month later than usual. On Monday, the series announced the opening NASCAR GP Spain at Circuit Ricardo Tormo has been pushed back from its original 17–18 April date to 15–16 May. The change was spurred as Europe continues through COVID-19 restrictions.

“We are continuously monitoring the situation in Europe and are fully engaged to take the best decisions for our fans, partners and competitors,” series head Jerome Galpin stated. “We all hope the situation will get better in the coming months and think that pushing the EuroNASCAR season opener few weeks later can allow us to welcome fans at the racetracks and offer to everyone involved a great American show in the pure tradition of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.”

The NASCAR GP Italy at Autodromo di Vallelunga was initially in the May slot, but the news means it will be moved to the fall. In 2020, numerous schedule revisions due to the pandemic resulted in the race becoming the season opener in September.

A specific date for the Italian race was not immediately revealed, but a graphic released by the sanctioning body tentatively has it as the final weekend after the NASCAR GP Belgium at Circuit Zolder on 9–10 October. Zolder was the second race of the 2020 season but has otherwise served as the finale.

Credit: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

Even with the schedule shuffle, the rest of the season remains the same as planned. The NASCAR GP Czech Republic at Autodrom Most, GP UK at Brands Hatch, and GP Germany at Hockenheimring return to the calendar after losing their 2020 editions to the pandemic, while the GP Croatia at Automotodrom Grobnik becomes a permanent date after taking Most’s slot the previous year. Every date on the calendar is a road course event; Raceway Venray in the Netherlands was the lone oval in 2019 but was removed the following year due to COVID and will not return for 2021.

While the 2021 season will not begin until May, the EuroNASCAR Esports Series kicked off in early February for the second year. Guillaume Deflandre won the opener on the Daytona road course–where the American NASCAR series raced this past weekend–ahead of reigning NWES champion Alon Day. As done with 2020, points earned in the Esports Series also go to the real-life Teams Championship. The second race is scheduled for 23 February at Brands Hatch.

Revised schedule

1–2Circuit Ricardo Tormo15–16 May
3–4Autodrom Most19–20 June
5–6Brands Hatch3–4 July
7–8Hockenheimring17–18 July
9–10Automotodrom Grobnik18–19 September
11–12Circuit Zolder9–10 October
13–14Autodromo di VallelungaTBA
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Justin is a History major at San Jose State University and lifelong racing fan who has worked for The Checkered Flag since 2018. His coverage mainly focuses on NASCAR, the Stadium Super Trucks, and off-road series like Extreme E and SCORE International. He also dabbles in other disciplines such as IndyCar, rallycross, and sports cars.
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