NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

Strong contrast: Old school NWES shares track with innovative smart e-cup

NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

In Vallelunga, the V8 monsters of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and the electric race cars of the smart e-cup shared the track – What connects those very different championships?

At the season opener of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) there was a bizarre picture: First the V8 beasts of the European NASCAR series thundered across the Italian circuit with 400 horsepower, then the small electric cars of the smart e-cup whistled through the tight corners. Had spectators been allowed on the grandstand, they would certainly have wondered how the two series fit together in the program.

But the NWES and the smart e-cup are united by an essential part of the DNA of motor sports: the passion for racing in a fair and tight competition. In both series – regardless of the V8 or electric engine – the drivers drive cars in which they can make the difference as they use equal material. In the end, the driver who is best wins. In the narrow window of the regulations, the teams can also make up important tenths with the right setup decisions.

But there is another link between EuroNASCAR and the electric Smart championship from Italy: Gian Luca Guiglia is the PR Manager of the NWES, Massimiliano Palumbo the brand manager of the smart e-cup. Before they walked different ways on the road, both of them worked together for years in the NWES media team and built up ‘Motorsportrants.com’, which is why the two Italians have a close friendship in addition to their passion for racing.

‘Leadlap.net’ talked to both of them and asked them why it is an unique opportunity for spectators to see two such different race series together on the track on one weekend. After all, loud old-school V8 racing meets the still relatively new electric motor sport, which is quite quiet.

“With Max we started our adventure in motorsports together. He was the first young motorsport enthusiast to join ‘Motorsportrants.com’”, said Guiglia. “Racing has always been a passion for us and that’s why we always looked for a different approach to connect fans with racers. We ended up in two of the most unconventional series and we keep showing how amazing the racing world is, no matter what you’re driving. The passion of racers, drivers, mechanics, team managers, engineers, fans, all of them, is the factor uniting us all.”

Palumbo goes into even greater detail about the similarities between the completely different racing series: “Racing is racing. If you push to the limit on the track and battle with the competition, it doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive. You just enjoy it. The NWES and the smart e-cup show the spectators how much fun it is to drive such a car.”

Credtis: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

One thing is very Important for Palumbo: “In both series the driver makes the difference. That’s why there are tough duels on the track and racing door to door and bumper to bumper – real touring car racing. The first step for a good show is to have many cars on the grid. It also needs talented drivers to drive the cars. This creates exciting races, which gains fans all over the world and a great visibility.”

As one of the series’ decision makers, it is also important for Palumbo that the reach is then used to provide the partners with a platform for their programs. However, he makes one thing clear: “Both series put the fans first and that is the reason for the success of both the NWES and the smart e-cup. In both series you can feel the passion for racing, the character of every single driver and the love for the sport.”

That’s why Palumbo asked an important question: “We use completely different cars and a completely different engine, but when the races are under green, can you really see a big difference? We are like brothers in a family: there’s the cool brother and the nerd!”

Whether fans will one day be able to enjoy the strong contrast between the two series right on the track is still up in the stars. The new home of the NASCAR GP of Italy, the Autodromo di Vallelunga, would be ideal to combine once again the raw power of the V8 EuroNASCAR cars and the gentle hum of the smart e-cup electric motors.