NASCAR’s European stock car racing series — Euro RaceCar — has been renamed, according to a story by the NASCAR Wire Service.
In a Monday morning announcement under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the series – which began in 2008 and is now in its second official season under the NASCAR banner – will now be known as the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
The first race under the new series sponsorship will be this weekend at France’s Tours Speedway, a temporary .400-mile oval built on the outskirts of Paris.
The new sponsor, Whelen Engineering, has been a long-time sponsor of NASCAR’s touring and regional series. It’s latest sponsorship runs through 2019.
“This is a landmark day for the series,” said Jerome Galpin, general manager of Team FJ, which owns and operates the European-based series. “Whelen’s support of NASCAR at every level is exemplary and to have them on board with the Euro Series brings another level of prestige and support to the series.”
In addition to the temporary oval at Tours Speedway, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series also competes on road courses in France (Circuit Paul Armagnac in Nogaro, Circuit de Dijon-Prenois in Dijon, and Circuit Le Mans Bugatti in LeMans), England (Brands Hatch Circuit), Spain (MotorLand Aragon) and Italy (Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, north of Milan).
Ander Vilarino of Spain won last season’s first NASCAR European champion. He once again is atop the standings after this season’s first three races.
Michael Carter was selected as the winner of the 2018 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.
Carter was one of four drivers who competed for the honor and a $100,000 scholarship that went along with it. Matthew Dirks, Hannah Grisham and Loni Unser also competed.
With the scholarship, Carter will compete in the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.
“What a journey this has been,” said Carter in a press release. “The reason I started racing a Mazda was because of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. It was our one single goal all along and to finally accomplish that is surreal. The process begins next week of getting ready for next season, for the series test at Barber, and to put together a good season in the Global MX-5 Cup.”
Carter was invited to the Shootout largely because of his 2018 performance in SCCA. He finished second in the SCCA Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship, won the Spec Miata Challenge and won in Spec Miata at the American Road Race of Champions.
The 18-year-old Carter had his eye on the Road to Mazda early.
“Each year, it is exciting to see the next batch of talent that is in the pipeline,” said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports. “I heard something from Michael and his father that really hit a chord with me which was that they built a Spec Miata with the sole purpose of going up the Mazda Road to 24 ladder.
That really speaks to the challenger spirit at Mazda, to why we have the Shootout, and to the family that we have at Mazda. Michael is the driver today who walks away with the scholarship, but we had four families come together here who have all gone racing together. For all of us at Mazda, it’s very rewarding to give these families a chance to go racing together. We look forward to watching Michael take the next step in his career in next season’s Global MX-5 Cup.”