Frédéric Gabillon skipped the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season as the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on the racing world. With the 2021 trail right around the corner, the Frenchman has recommitted to the series and will return to his #3 RDV Competition EuroNASCAR FJ. While not a certainty, Gabillon has not ruled out the possibility of the upcoming season being his last before retiring.
The 45-year-old Gabillon has 84 career starts in the EuroNASCAR PRO class, the most in its history, with twelve wins and forty-five podiums. He has three runner-up championship finishes in his debut season in 2013, 2016, and 2018. His 2019 campaign saw him score a win at Brands Hatch but finish a career-worst twelfth in points.
The French-run RDV Competition, which fielded a two-car effort in 2019 for Gabillon and fellow countryman Ulysse Delsaux, sat out the 2020 season due to the pandemic. In spite of this, Gabillon remained involved with the series via the EuroNASCAR Esports Series, finishing twenty-second in the standings with starts in all but the opener and a best finish of eleventh at Circuit Zolder. Delsaux will rejoin the team for 2021.
“We have a brand new car and we had almost a year and a half to get it ready and I can’t wait to bring it to the track,” Gabillon told the Pure Racing Pit Reporters podcast. “It’s really important to build a solid relationship and work year after year with the same great people. I think my crew chief (Claude Galopin) is one of the best there is. He’s an old school guy and when he trusts you, he’s really making a difference turning your feedback into a better car. Franck (Violas, RDV team owner) is such a great friend and we spend a lot of time together when I’m in Paris. I am really happy to continue with them.”
Gabillon has raced in a variety of series throughout his career with particular emphasis on sports and touring cars such as the French GT Championship and Renault Clio Cup. In 1999, he won the French Renault Mégane Trophy. He has also dabbled in NASCAR’s North American series with a twelfth-place finish at Watkins Glen International in his lone start in what is now the ARCA Menards Series East in the United States in 2014, followed by an eighth at Circuit Trois-Rivières in the Canadian Pinty’s Series in 2018.
“I’m definitely closer to the end of my career than to the beginning of it and I’ve been saying this the last couple of seasons. I’m 45 years old and I spent 30 years racing, so maybe this will really be my last season behind the wheel,” added Gabillon. “I spent a lot of time chasing the NWES title and I will do my best to finally bring it home.”
While the 2021 Euro Series season does not begin until 15/16 May at Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Gabillon is continuing to compete in the Esports Series. After four races, he is tied for fifth in points with Paul Jouffreau with a highest run of fourth in the latest race at Watkins Glen.