This Spanish national goalkeeper raced at Valencia in 2015!
In 2015, Spanish national goalkeeper Santiago Canizares competed in the EuroNASCAR ELITE 2 championship – This is how the keeper’s NWES debut happened
In 2015, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) traditionally kicked off the season at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. For the opener, a real celebrity was found for the ELITE 2 championship (now EuroNASCAR 2): Santiago Canizares! The former Spanish national goalkeeper with the markable blond hair stood between the posts for Real Madrid and Valencia FC, among others.
Canizares made a total of 500 games in his career from 1988 to 2008 – 305 of them for Valencia. In addition, the now 52-year-old has been playing for the Spanish national team 46 times. Canizares has had a fable for motorsport since childhood and when his football career was over, he was able to take a risk and dedicate himself to racing. He tried his hand at rally racing, but also in the European NASCAR series.
At his home track in Valencia – the Circuit Ricardo Tormo – he competed for the Efficaciter SL Team in a #4 Ford Mustang. Canizares qualified 21st out of 24 competitors with no experience in the V8 race car. “The car is really nice and fun to drive,” he said at the time before the race weekend.
“Because of the rear-wheel drive and the power, I have to be gentle with the throttle here,” the famous football player continued. “It’s definitely a great feeling. I’m looking forward to a great race tomorrow.” Canizares put words into action, starting the 16-lap 2015 season opener in the ELITE 2 category.
Canizares stayed out of the chaos and gained a few positions. He also benefited from retirements by his rivals: for example, Francesca Linossi in the #99 car crashed into the tire pile in turn 2. The race driver from Madrid ultimately finished his EuroNASCAR debut in a solid 17th place. Canizares did not start on Sunday but handed the car over to Moises Soriano.