Race winner Patrick Lemarie was convinced by Jacques Villeneuve to join EuroNASCAR!
Patrick Lemarie claimed his first NASCAR win in the EuroNASCAR Finals at the Automotodrom Grobnik – He got into the series thanks to Formula One world champion Jacques Villeneuve
“I’m really enjoying the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series [NWES] and I’m very happy to be here,” says Patrick Lemarie after his first EuroNASCAR PRO win at Automotodrom Grobnik on the final race day of the season to ‘EuroNASCAR.com’. “Jacques Villeneuve told me to get into the series to race here, and he was right!” Lemarie and Villeneuve have been friends for many years and even competed together for two years in the European NASCAR series.
Lemarie raced together with Villeneuve in 2020 in their own team FEED Racing, an academy for young racers in France. In 2021, the Frenchman tried his hand at DF1 Racing before joining Academy Caffi Motorsport in 2022. Lemarie repeatedly showed in the number 5 car that he could keep up with the front runners, but a top result was not forthcoming due to minor problems with the car or the setup – until the end of the season in Croatia.
Lemarie already set a record on Saturday: At 54 years of age, he became the oldest driver to end up on the EuroNASCAR PRO podium with a third-place finish. On Sunday, he topped his performance once again, securing his maiden NASCAR victory. Lemarie thus replaced his good friend Villeneuve at the top of the list of oldest winners in the top EuroNASCAR championship. The record now stands at 54 years old; Villeneuve was 50 when he won his first race in Italy in 2021.
“I really enjoy it here and to win the last race of the season is just awesome,” Lemarie continues. “I thank the team for the great effort they put in. I finally made it and I’m very happy. It feels good, it has been a long time!” Lemarie benefited from a contact on the penultimate lap between Gianmarco Ercoli and Giorgio Maggi, who were battling for first place. After the incident, the Frenchman stormed past Nicolo Rocca on the start-finish straight and defended his lead to the finish.
Lemarie will now enjoy his vacation before looking ahead to the 2023 NWES season, in which he hopes to compete again. The Frenchman has shown that age is just a number and that he can keep up with the best drivers in the EuroNASCAR paddock. Next year, the championship will start on May 6 and 7 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. Before that, an All-Star race is planned on the ice and snow of Rovaniemi in Finland. The event is scheduled to take place on March 4 and 5.