RaceDepartment Store

Upcoming Events

AC events on Simracing.GP ACC events on Simracing.GP Automobilista 2 events RaceRoom events rFactor 2 events

Bobby Labonte Returns to Racing with Euro NASCAR Season Entry

Paul Jeffrey

RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief
Staff
Premium
Bobby Labonte NASCAR Whelen Series Drive.jpg

American NASCAR legend Bobby Labonte will return to full time competition at the age of 53 this season, signing a full time NASCAR Euro Series deal for the year ahead.

Returning to the cockpit of a NASCAR machine for a full season for the first time since 2012, the former winner of no less than 21 top level NASCAR races, including some of the biggest events in the American racing calendar, will spearhead an assault on the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for the French RDV Competition outfit, setting his sights firmly on championship success as he looks to increase an enviable career success rate that spans almost four decades.

“Joining the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is a great opportunity,” said Labonte of the announcement today. “At the Brands Hatch race last year, I was definitely impressed by the competitiveness of the series. The testing we did with Frederic Gabillon last fall and putting this together with Franck Violas and the RDV team gives me a great advantage. Having the opportunity to represent YACCO as a sponsor on a global level just adds to the excitement, and I look forward to all the growth and new opportunities this could bring.”
Labonte will be the most experienced and successful driver on the grid in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series when the field forms up for the first time in Valencia next weekend, marking something of a turning point in the history of the series, as both NASCAR and the event organisers look to gain further recognition as a legitimate pathway for Europeans to make the step up to American NASCAR competition:

“It is a huge milestone for the Whelen Euro Series to welcome an American champion of Bobby’s caliber to contend for the title. This is another sign of the international appeal the series has delivered. We are proud to have a strong international lineup of 30 drivers and teams, declared NASCAR Whelen Euro Series President / CEO Jerome Galpin.​

“Having a NASCAR champion like Bobby Labonte compete in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is a huge win for fans and competitors alike,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief International Officer. “Labonte’s full-time involvement gives American fans an even stronger connection to the series, while offering our European fans a close look at one of NASCAR’s greats.”
The 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will take in 12 rounds across six circuits in Spain, Italy, England, France, and Germany, including two standalone oval events at the Tours oval in France, before closing at the beautiful Zolder circuit in Belgium for the Elite final on the weekend of October 20th.

For more news from the motorsport world be sure to check out the Motorsport Sub Forum here at RaceDepartment - Join in the discussion today!

Like what you see here at RaceDepartment? Don't forget to like, subscribe and follow us on social media!

RaceDepartment YouTube
RaceDepartment Twitter
RaceDepartment Facebook
RaceDepartment Twitch
RaceDepartment Instagram

Have you seen a NASCAR Euro Series event? Do you think the category is a legitimate entry into the NASCAR career ladder? Can Labonte still turn on the magic at 53 in your opinion? Let us know in the comments section below!
 
Last edited:

Bonehead

Premium
View attachment 245913
American NASCAR legend Bobby Labonte will return to full time competition at the age of 53 this season, signing a full time NASCAR Euro Series deal for the year ahead.

Returning to the cockpit of a NASCAR machine for a full season for the first time since 2012, the former winner of no less than 21 top level NASCAR races, including some of the biggest events in the American racing calendar, will spearhead an assault on the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for the French RDV Competition outfit, setting his sights firmly on championship success as he looks to increase an enviable career success rate that spans almost four decades.

“Joining the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is a great opportunity,” said Labonte of the announcement today. “At the Brands Hatch race last year, I was definitely impressed by the competitiveness of the series. The testing we did with Frederic Gabillon last fall and putting this together with Franck Violas and the RDV team gives me a great advantage. Having the opportunity to represent YACCO as a sponsor on a global level just adds to the excitement, and I look forward to all the growth and new opportunities this could bring.”
Labonte will be the most experienced and successful driver on the grid in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series when the field forms up for the first time in Valencia next weekend, marking something of a turning point in the history of the series, as both NASCAR and the event organisers look to gain further recognition as a legitimate pathway for Europeans to make the step up to American NASCAR competition:

“It is a huge milestone for the Whelen Euro Series to welcome an American champion of Bobby’s caliber to contend for the title. This is another sign of the international appeal the series has delivered. We are proud to have a strong international lineup of 30 drivers and teams, declared NASCAR Whelen Euro Series President / CEO Jerome Galpin.​

“Having a NASCAR champion like Bobby Labonte compete in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is a huge win for fans and competitors alike,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief International Officer. “Labonte’s full-time involvement gives American fans an even stronger connection to the series, while offering our European fans a close look at one of NASCAR’s greats.”
The 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will take in 12 rounds across six circuits in Spain, Italy, England, France, and Germany, including two standalone oval events at the Tours oval in France, before closing at the beautiful Zolder circuit in Belgium for the Elite final on the weekend of October 20th.

For more news from the motorsport world be sure to check out the Motorsport Sub Forum here at RaceDepartment - Join in the discussion today!

Like what you see here at RaceDepartment? Don't forget to like, subscribe and follow us on social media!

RaceDepartment YouTube
RaceDepartment Twitter
RaceDepartment Facebook
RaceDepartment Twitch
RaceDepartment Instagram

Have you seen a NASCAR Euro Series event? Do you think the category is a legitimate entry into the NASCAR career ladder? Can Labonte still turn on the magic at 53 in your opinion? Let us know in the comments section below!
 
Whelen Euro Series isn't a bad series. The cars are built different from North American stock cars to give European drivers an easier acclimation to stock cars. It's also a decent ladder series. Alon Day, Euro Series champion, has contested some North American races in backmarker teams and managed to run up front. NASCAR Canada driver Alex Labbe has started to transition to America, and NASCAR Mexico champion Daniel Suarez went on to win the 2016 Xfinity championship and he's in second full season as a NASCAR Cup driver. So these international series are working well enough. I do hope that in 2021, when NASCAR will rewrite their main schedule, that some of these international venues will be interested in hosting an international Cup Series race.
 
From the pictures I must say that I am not too crazy about the cars. They don´t have that Nascar bad-ass look about them at all - looks more like converted touring cars to me - and that´s just not true Nascar in my opinion.

And ONE oval race from what I can see... I know Nascar is more than oval - but that´s what it is to me. 300+ km/h, bumper to bumper oval races - and the co driver saying 200 - left 3 - again and again and.... Alright I may have been watching too much rally lately...;);)

Still - Nascar in Europe - that´s great.
 
Terrible series, wannabe NASCAR.
We have NASCAR it is an iconic American motorsport mostly driven on equally iconic on ovals.
Lets keep it there.

I actually enjoy watching Nascar, but only the real deal.
 
how can i be wannabe nascar when it is nascar? plus the canadian series is awesome and features a lot of road courses.

and not all american nascar ovals are iconic. like kansas. or chicagoland. or kentucky.
 
It may be endorsed, but that is it.
About as silly as that wannabe amarican football going on in europe.

Don’t let that stop you enjoying it, just expressing my view - that won’t be changed by an official endorsement or not.
 

Paul Jeffrey

RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief
Staff
Premium
Hey, for us Brits, does anyone remember ASCAR?

Link - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VSR_V8_Trophy

Many, many fun moments watching these bad boys back at Rockingham in the early 2000's. The series had so much potential, but never quite made it properly. It was like a British version of NASCAR, but slower, with smaller grids, and lots and lots and lots of crashes.

Still, it had Jason Plato, Nic Minsassian and the Stig racing in it for a while, which was fun

 
Last edited:

Paul Jeffrey

RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief
Staff
Premium
Damn watching that video brings back the memories. Those were good days. No wife, no mortgage, no kids. Just drink, mates, food and ... well I'll leave that last one off the list ;)
 

led00m

Sim racer, kart racer and an academic
IIRC, the FIA doesn't allow racing on ovals over a certain size. Shame really, to see these go Euro Speedway and Rockingham would be awesome!
 
Top