Jacques Villeneuve will join Academy Motorsports for the 2021 NWES season and compete in the EuroNASCAR PRO championship – Francesco Garisto go for the title in the EuroNASCAR 2 series with 42 Racing
Former Formula 1 world champion and Indy 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve will remain in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES). The Canadian joins Academy Motorsport, the new team of Federico Monti and Alex Caffi with the support of Race Art Technology. Villeneuve will drive the #5 EuroNASCAR FJ in the EuroNASCAR PRO championship.
Since his FEED partner Patrick Lemarie has moved to DF1 Racing along with Simon Pilate, it is unlikely that the pair’s team will remain active in EuroNASCAR. It is also not yet known what will happen next for the Italians from Vict Racing. What is certain, is that Villeneuve wants to reach for the NWES title together with ex-Formula 1 driver Alex Caffi.
“I am super excited to enter this season with a brand new team and the great enthusiasm everyone is showing. Federico and Alex bring the perfect mix of positive attitude, experience and knowledge we need to hit the ground running with this new project,” said Villeneuve. “I’m confident we have what it takes to go for the win in every race of the 2021 NWES season.”
Alex Caffi believes that the new formation with Monti and Race Art Technology is the right step to be at the front in all championships in 2021. For the EuroNASCAR 2 championship, Academy Motorsport has already signed Cypriot Vladimiros Tziortzis. New co-owner Monti will compete in the Club Challenge, which he finished second in last year.
Villeneuve, who won the F1 title in 1997, has been on the verge of his first NASCAR victory several times. With four podiums, six top-5 and nine top-10 results in 15 EuroNASCAR PRO starts, the 49-year-old is certainly a hot candidate in the 2021 NWES title battle.
Garisto stays with 42 Racing
42 Racing of Italy has confirmed the contract extension of Francesco Garisto for the 2021 EuroNASCAR 2 championship. The 18-year-old made his NWES debut for the racing team in 2020 after receiving support from the series for his performance in the recruiting program. The adventure is set to continue in 2021.
“I’m thrilled to announce my deal with 42 Racing to extend our contract for the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series! We’ve worked hard to make this possible and we’re currently giving our best to get to Valencia as competitive as possible. My learning curve has grown exponentially during the 2020 season and I didn’t expect to have the competitiveness to fight for top spots,” said Garisto. “This year I will race to win!”
The 18-year-old finished ninth overall in the EuroNASCAR 2 season and recorded a total of seven top-10 results. His best result was a third place – and thus a podium – at Circuit Zolder. Due to positive coronavirus cases in the team, Garisto had to switch to Marko Stipp’s team for the races in Grobnik and Valencia. The Italian gained important experience with the Germans.
After the postponement of the season opener, the first race of the 2021 NWES season will take place on May 15-16 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. The date was actually set for the Italian race, but it was postponed until fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The exact new date of the Italian round is not yet known.