Shortly before the start of the 2020 season of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, three prominent drivers declare that they will not be racing this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
After Ander Vilarino and Gianni Morbidelli had previously announced that they did not want to participate in all races of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) in 2020, Alexander Graff, Frederic Gabillon and Ulysse Delsaux have now also announced that they will not be competing.
Graff wrote on his Facebook page on September 2: “I will not be racing this season, for the first time since I was 15 years old I will not be in a race car. It feels weird and boring not to be racing. But due to the circumstances it’s the best way.”
However, he won’t give up motorsports altogether, because he will be commenting on the Swedish Touring Car Series (STCC) as an expert.
“I felt that if I could give back something and help the sport I love the most, and to all the awesome teams and drivers who have made it to one of the hardest seasons ever! And of course for all the lovely fans and spectators!”
Graff also made it clear that this will not be a final retreat from active racing : “The helmet is not on the shelf, it’s packed in it’s helmet bag and ready for more sweaty battles on the track – when the time is right, or there is a great opportunity to race”.
RDV Competition to skip season
On the same day, EuroNASCAR veteran Frederic Gabillon also announced that under the circumstances he would not be competing in the 2020 season.
The three-time runner-up in the EuroNASCAR PRO category and longest serving driver in the field summed up on his Facebook page: “No championship for me this season, thanks to RDV Competition and my sponsors for understanding this decision. See you soon …”
His teammate at RDV Competition and EuroNASCAR-2-Champion 2018 Ulysse Delsaux actually wanted to compete in both categories this year. But he also reacted to the COVID 19 pandemic and declared his race break on his Facebook page on September 4.
“In the current health circumstances, I announce that I will not be present on the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series 2020 Championship grid. This decision has been long and carefully thought out with my sponsor GCS and my team meeting competition, it’s a shame and sad but the reason has to prevail over my passion. I wish to see things improve for all of us and I will be back to the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series championship in 2021 more motivated than ever.”
A big loss
Team RDV Competition has competed regularly in EuroNASCAR since its inception in 2012 and will now skip a season for the first time.
Gabillon, who has also competed in both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (2014) and NASCAR Pinty’s Series (2018), competed in the NWES from 2013 to 2019, taking 12 wins and 45 podium finishes in 84 races. In 2013, 2016 and 2018 he finished second in the EuroNASCAR PRO classification.
His team-mate Delsaux also has a start in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (2016). During his four years in the EuroNASCAR 2 championship he achieved five victories and twelve podiums in 47 race starts. He also won the 2018 championship in this category. In 2019 he competed in the EuroNASCAR PRO division and finished ninth in the overall standings.
The Swede Alexander Graff has been participating in the NWES since 2018, has driven 25 races so far and finished ninth in the overall standings in 2018. Besides RDV Competition, Braxx Racing has already announced not to participate in the NWES 2020. Despite the COVID 19 pandemic, more than 20 cars have been registered for the new season, which starts on September 12th and 13th.