NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

Ander Vilarino after two wins: “From then on it was a nightmare”

NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

NWES returnee Ander Vilarino is not satisfied with the results of the 2020 EuroNASCAR season – The Spaniard wants to win the championship

During the 2019 season opener all eyes were on NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) returnee Ander Vilarino. The three-time NWES champion came back after a three-year long NWES break and joined the debuting team Racing Engineering. After two wins on home soil at Valencia, Vilarino wasn’t able to compete with the top drivers of the now called EuroNASCAR Pro championship.

In the end, Vilarino ended up fifth in the overall points standings. He sped to victory two time and grabbed one pole position, five top-5 and nine top-10 finishes. But Vilarino is hungry for more: “Racing Engineering is a winning team, I am a winning driver and we won the first two races of the season but from then on it was a nightmare,” he tells ‘Leadlap.net’. “We were not fast enough anymore and honestly I don’t know why because we tried everything.”

Credits: Frank Reipen

“As a driver and part of the team during this season I accept my part of responsibility of not finding a solution to the lack of speed in the car,” he says. Racing Engineering had to adapt to the new environment first but did a decent job in finding a solid pace, but winning more than two races was not possible for the Spaniards.

Not the car to compete at front

Since his last race in the 2015 NWES season, Vilarino drove a EuroNASCAR car for the first time. He compares the level in the EuroNASCAR Pro division in 2015 and 2019: “It is very good as always in this championship. I would have liked to have the car to fight like in the first races of the year but unfortunately it has not been the case. I think it is good for the championship to have three young drivers in the top-3 at the end of the season.”

“This shows the interest, the young drivers have in the series,” Vilarino explains. “By my side, finishing fifth in the standings after such terrible season is not so bad after all.” Theoretically, Vilarino had chances to get his fourth NWES ring until the last weekend of the 2019 season, but he was too far behind to attack the new EuroNASCAR champion Loris Hezemans.

2020 and the new NWES

Vilarino feels like nothing has really changed in the NWES since his decision to take a break: “There are no big changes. The cars were pretty much the same, slightly different in shocks and tires but mostly the same. The series ist attractive as always for tracks, teams, drivers and fans. In my case the biggest change was racing with a new team in the series.”

In 2020 Vilarino is looking for a new challenge: “I would like to be back to EuroNASCAR in 2020 but it will depend in the conditions I will find. It is the funniest and best championship I have ever been in. About Racing Engineering I don’t know if they will be back, but if I am back it won’t be with them.”