NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

EuroNASCAR Arctic Ice Race to feature time trials, rallycross-style race weekend

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Credit: Patrick Trocelli/NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

The 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will open with the inaugural Arctic Ice Race in Rovaniemi, Finland, on 5/6 March. With the series taking on a non-paved surface for the first time, it only made sense to take pages from a discipline that is more than familiar with such a racing style.

The format is heavily inspired by that seen in rallycross with a series of heat races and semi-finals before concluding with a final. While not as common in that discipline, the series will also change the track layout each day to keep drivers on their toes.

The weekend begins on Friday, 4 March with six thirty-minute practice sessions on a course that is 3.2 kilometres in length. Saturday will see a time attack tournament conducted on a 2.4-km track, which sets the starting order for Sunday’s races.

Only a select number of cars will be available for the race, and two drivers will be assigned to each like in the standard championship.

“Since the creation of the series in 2009, we have always explored new territories and pushed the boundaries,” said series head Jérôme Galpin. “Bringing the pure racing of EuroNASCAR on ice makes perfect sense in our strategy to innovate and develop new concepts of racing.

“This will be a big thing for everybody involved and a great opportunity to mix drivers coming from EuroNASCAR of course, but also other forms of racing: circuit, rally, rallycross… As I was one of the drivers running the development tests back in 2021, I can testify that driving a EuroNASCAR car on ice is an amazing and unique experience.”

To see his series’ viability on snow and ice, Galpin tested a EuroNASCAR FJ car in Val Thorens, France, in March 2021. Galpin is no stranger to off-road racing, having participated in the Dakar Rally’s Dakar Classic and will do so again at the end of December.

Rovaniemi hosts the Arctic Rally Finland, which was a World Rally Championship round in 2021.

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