NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

NASCAR Euro Series head Jerome Galpin pilots EuroNASCAR on ice in France

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Credit: Patrick Trocelli/NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

Much of NASCAR‘s non-paved hoopla in recent times has focused on the Cup and Camping World Truck Series‘ dirt races at Bristol in March, but the Whelen Euro Series has another surface in mind: ice.

On 26 March, Euro Series CEO Jerome Galpin and his retinue from Team FJ took a car to the icy mountains in France for a test session at Val Thorens. Equipped with studded tyres, Galpin drove the car around the snow/ice-based Alain Prost Ice Circuit in a show of its versatility. The track, located on a ski resort, is a longtime stop on the Andros Trophy calendar.

In 2019, a Team Red Bull Cup car saw action in the GP Ice Race in Zell am See, Austria. However, the EuroNASCAR test is the first NASCAR-sanctioned demonstration on ice. According to a statement from the series published on Thursday, Galpin set faster times and speeds than ice-specialised rear-wheel drive (RWD) vehicles and were more comparable to all-wheel drive ice racing cars.

“To be honest, we didn’t expect this first test on ice to go so well,” Galpin said. “The EuroNASCAR car has a great balance, so it is very easy to swing around on the ice. It is probably among the most versatile race cars ever built, able to race on every track and every surface, in every condition. The level of performance is also pretty impressive: with only one day of testing, we were able to set one of the fastest times around the track for a rear-wheel drive car.”

Does the test mean one can expect the Euro Series to consider racing on similar tracks in the future? While such a race is not on the 2021 schedule, it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

“This test will definitely open up new horizons and spark new ideas for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series,” added Galpin. “We have to see what’s the next step but for sure this was a very special day.”

The Euro Series is not the only discipline that has started dabbling in the colder elements. In January, the Race of Champions announced its 2022 edition will take place on a snow/ice course near the Arctic Circle in Sweden, a stark deviation from its traditional stadium tracks. The ROC Twitter account quipped shortly after the NWES test, “Are you teasing us?”

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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