With the tenth season of one of the fastest growing racing series in Europe coming in 2018 and this season’s playoffs approaching fast, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series founders Jerome and Anne Galpin are returning from NASCAR’s headquarters at Daytona Beach, Florida after a summer of work on the future of the European championship.
The next seasons of the European NASCAR Series have been taking shape with the full support of the best motorsports organization in the world to promote racing in its purest form in Europe. The development of NWES, already one of the most attractive and cost-effective championships of the Old Continent, will continue in 2018 with even more ideas and passion to confirm the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series among the best touring car series around.
We have reached NASCAR Whelen Euro Series President and CEO Jerome Galpin on his last day at the World Center Of Racing to get an update on the state and the future of NWES.
Is there a better place than Daytona to ponder on the first 10 season of NWES and its future?
There is absolutely no better place than Daytona Beach to work on the future and get inspiration from the great history of NASCAR and amazing people working there at NASCAR Corporate office!
NWES has made great strides since its inception as a mostly French series. What has been the key aspect in this growth?
The key aspect is “Pure Racing”: going back to the great years when racing was all about drivers skills and sharing passion with thousands of fans.
Our NASCAR drivers are true heroes : they are the only racers in Europe to fully control their cars without any electronic assistance. They are also really focused to put on a great show with high intensity battles and close racing!
We have more and more drivers coming from all over the world, from GTs, Touring cars, sportscars and open wheels to test their skills and have great fun in NWES. Our Euro-NASCAR cars also help developing the series because everybody loving pure racing loves to drive them, from total beginners to the greatest F1 or sportscars champions ! They are the “one of a kind” Iconic beasts every driver wants to race.
Did you expect such a quick growth when you first thought about bringing the American spirit to Europe?
Surely not! We had a vision to work on and we knew there would be an appeal for a spectacular and pure form of racing but we couldn’t imagine to arrive where we are now: we race on some of the most prestigious and historical tracks in Europe, we have some of the best fans attendance numbers for our events and the highest level of competition of any European Touring car Series. This is great, but the most impressive thing is the huge growth potential we see ahead of us: with the support and expertise of NASCAR, our NWES has everything to become one of the biggest Series in Europe.
Now that the Series is about to reach its 10th season, what are you looking forward to improve and develop for the future?
The key points will be to further strengthen the competition between teams and drivers and offer the best racing experience to our fans, whether they come to our events or watch them on TV or their phone. We have now some solid foundations: the cars are great to drive, very reliable and spectacular to watch, our weekend format is intense and spectacular, so it’s all about improving the product on some special points. On the competition perspective we have great ideas to continue to raise the level and make the stakes higher. We also work with our track partners to make all NWES events bigger and better every year. In 2018, a special focus will be on TV package, live streaming and VOD contents.
How do you keep the Series affordable and keep increasing the competition level?
Costs containment is a key point in the model. Today NWES offer definitely one of the best racing package in Europe and we absolutely keep this 100% under control: A brand new car cost 70.000€ and is as fast as any GT4 or TCR car and drivers can compete in a full season for approximately 60.000€. No other series can provide a world-wide exposure, chances to compete for a NASCAR continental crown in front of tens of thousands of fans and offer over 200.000€ in prize money as well as career opportunities in the US.
How did the relationship with NASCAR evolve in the past 10 years and what are you planning for the years to come?
We receive a tremendous amount of support from everybody at NASCAR in the USA ! They help developing the series in every part of the game: competition, marketing and communication, strategy, business and development... We are really proud to be part of this great family. From weekly racing to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, there is a lot of great people with huge passion and experience, many of them are very good friends now and we can’t thank them enough for everything they do for us. We have a long term partnership and lots of great events and races to run in the coming years!
NWES finds more and more tracks eager to host a NWES event and many of the features introduced by NWES in its events are being adopted by others Series. What are your thoughts on the state of the NWES events model?
We have great tracks partners and long term relationships with all of them with the common will to develop a unique NASCAR GP event in each European country. These events are not just about racing, they are festivals celebrating the American culture, designed to provide a complete and very entertaining experience to the whole family. We are here for the fun and we are all on the same page with our competitors to share our passion and spend week-ends with our fans. They have access to the paddock, to the grid walk and can touch our cars and meet our drivers!
Drivers from all over the world are joining NWES to compete against the best in Europe and earn a chance to succeed in the US, while many NASCAR stars are crossing the ocean to enter NWES events. How do you see this continuous exchange evolve?
This is exactly what we want to be: a high level competition welcoming the best drivers from all over the world, from every form of racing, to compete on prestigious European tracks and providing opportunities for our best drivers to compete in the USA at the highest level of NASCAR. These past years, we were really proud to have Anthony Kumpen and Alon Day competing in NASCAR Xfinity Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. They are paving the way for many of our young and talented drivers.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will return to the track on September 16-17 with the NASCAR GP OF ITALY. The Semi Finals will award double points and will take place in the context of the first American NASCAR Weekend. All the races will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv and NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Facebook page.
Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard