Two EuroNASCAR drivers start the new season with fresh US racing experience

Two EuroNASCAR drivers start the new season with fresh US racing experience
Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Gian Luca Guiglia

Gil Linster and Thomas Krasonis competed in oval races in the US over the winter – With this experience under their belts, they’ll head into the 2023 NWES season

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) will kick off the new season on May 6 and 7, 2023. When the V8 engines are fired up for the first time at Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo, the grid will feature two drivers with fresh oval experience in Gil Linster and Thomas Krasonis. Both started at New Smyrna Speedway in February and want to take the momentum into the 2023 EuroNASCAR season.

Krasonis made his oval debut in the US in Florida and contested a total of two races in the Pro Late Model Series. On February 15, he finished the 35-lap Late Model race on the short track in 25th place out of a total of 33 competitors. In the 100-lap main event on February 17, the Greek finished 21st out of 27 starters.

In the 2023 NWES season, Krasonis will compete for Marko Stipp Motorsports of Germany in EuroNASCAR PRO. The 21-year-old wants to compete for the Junior Trophy for drivers up to and including the age of 25 and establish himself among NASCAR’s European elite. Which car the Greek will drive for Marko Stipp’s racing team has not yet been decided.

“I want to be in the top-10 in the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series with Marko Stipp Motorsport and take the next step in my career,” says Krasonis. “I am already looking forward to the race at Brands Hatch, my favorite event on the schedule thanks to the tens of thousands of fans. I’m going to pursue my goals and I think I’m always passionate and committed when it comes to racing. I’m also focused on the important details and always work under pressure.”

The New Smyrna oval was not new territory for Linster, as the Luxembourg, Germany-based racer already competed on the short track in the 2020 season as part of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. With an eighth and a 17th place in two races, the new Hendriks driver showed that he is also competitive in the USA. In 2023, he will compete in the EuroNASCAR 2 championship, sharing the car with champion Liam Hezemans.

Credits: Steven Van Eckeren

“I’m competing with the best team in EuroNASCAR history and teaming up with Liam Hezemans, the reigning EuroNASCAR 2 champion, will bring out the best in me,” says Linster, who has set his sights high for the 2023 NWES season. Hendriks Motorsports, the team of Roy and Joep Hendriks, has won the team championship four years in a row, claiming five titles in EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2.

“I know that his brother and two-time EuroNASCAR PRO Champion Loris Hezemans will be very supportive, so we are ready to maximize the results and improve each race. My goal is to win the championship, fight for wins and finish in the top-5 consistently. We are going for the title, nothing less! I want to thank Hendriks Motorsport and Toine Hezemans for the opportunity. Together we have all what it takes to get to the top.”

Another driver who competed in the US in February is Miguel Gomes. The Portuguese driver fulfilled a lifelong dream by competing in the ARCA Series at Daytona International Speedway, finishing 31st. So far, Gomes, who has competed for Marko Stipp Motorsports the past two years, has not confirmed an NWES program for the 2023 season. Whether the Legend Trophy title contender will return to the series is still up in the air.

André Wiegold