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NASCAR Whelen Euro Series starts this weekend with Hunt and Lauda

Friday, April 22 2016

The 2016 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series gets underway this weekend (23/24 April) in Spain with exciting new cars and a sensational Hunt and Lauda partnership. The championship will headline American SpeedFest IV at Brands Hatch on 11/12 June.

The stock car championship's new season starts at Moto GP venue Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia with a new look to the 28-car field. The biggest change will be the new cars, which look and sound better than ever. The field is split between the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet SS muscle cars

With reigning Elite 1 champion Ander Vilarino having moved onto to pastures new, there will be plenty of drivers aiming to fill his place at the head of the order, including Elite 2 champion Gianmarco Ercoli, who has moved up to the top division. All will be competing for the Nexteer Road To Daytona programme, where seven drivers will be rewarded with a NASCAR race in the United States.

The field also includes two familiar surnames, as four decades on from the famous James Hunt v Niki Lauda Formula 1 Championship fight, their sons will team up in a DF1 Racing Chevrolet SS. Mathias Lauda has already tasted victory in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, and will compete for the Elite 1 class, whilst Freddie Hunt will be contesting his debut season in the championship, taking on the junior Elite 2 division.

The pair are expected to contest the races at American SpeedFest IV, almost 40 years on from the controversial 1976 British Grand Prix, when Hunt Snr thrilled the crowd by passing Lauda Snr on the road, only to lose his victory weeks later after protests by rival teams.

 "I love this championship and I always look forward to drive in NASCAR Whelen Euro Series," said Lauda. "It is going to be a pretty busy season, I will race a lot and always against very strong rivals. I know Freddie since a couple of years, he is a very nice guy and I'll try to help him understand this car quickly, because it is challenging to take to the limit and the level of competition in NWES is extremely high. It is great to have a friend to share the car with."

"I am really looking forward to joining the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and to my first race in Valencia," said Hunt, who will wear a special James Hunt tribute-helmet this season. "It is really great to share the car with Mathias. Among other things, he has a lot of experience in NASCAR and I think I can learn from him and we can benefit from each other. I am training hard both physically and mentally and having some simulator sessions to prepare for the season. I can't wait to get started!"

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series races at Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo will be streamed live on www.fanschoice.tv

Tickets for American SpeedFest IV at Brands Hatch on 11/12 June are available online from £18, with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.