Austrian team Dexwet-df1 Racing will field an international, star-studded lineup in the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season, with the ambition to challenge for championships and trophies in every division. Two motorsports legends – Christophe Bouchut and Ellen Lohr – will drive in the ELITE 1 Division for the team directed by Norbert Walchhofer and supported by Dexwet International, while Justin Kunz and ELITE Club champion Advait Deodhar will compete in ELITE 2. Alina Loibnegger will make her NASCAR debut in the ELITE Club Division.
The only woman to win a DTM race and a truly eclectic driver with a 31-year career in motorsports, spanning from driving to management, Lohr will return to full-time competition for the first time since 2016 to join the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series on the #99 Camaro.
“In Zolder I took a look at the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Then pieces simply fitted. The racing gene and passion never die. When I saw how 30 cars with big V8 engines thundered past me at the flying start, it was actually clear that I wanted to do that,” said the Mönchengladbach, Germany native. “I also chose Euro NASCAR because the team convinced me that it really wanted me and I just like this kind of motorsport. Here you still have to work really hard in the car and I really like that. Our goal can only be to finish on the podium. I certainly won’t be able to keep up with the front runners right from the start, that would be a miracle, but the ambition to be at the front is of course there. Otherwise I wouldn’t do that. That’s why a multi-year contract was signed.”Returning to contend for the Euro NASCAR championship on the #66 Camaro will be GT racing icon and Le Mans 24 Hours winner and GT racing icon Christophe Bouchut. The Frenchman features two podium finishes in his NASCAR palmares and will be poised to have his say in an ELITE 1 Division looking more competitive than ever.
A veteran of Euro NASCAR despite his 21 years of age, German driver Justin Kunz will join Dexwet-df1 Racing in the ELITE 2 Division and share the car with Lohr with the clear goal to contend for the ELITE 2 title. Kunz competed in both NWES divisions in 2018, finishing ninth in ELITE 2 after scoring his first podium finish at Tours Speedway.
“I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from Ellen. She has a lot of experience and was very successful. But I’m also looking forward to work with the other drivers. Together we can achieve a lot,” said Kunz, who also took part in his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last August.
Moving up full-time to the ELITE 2 Division on the #66 car will be 2018 ELITE Club champion Advait Deodhar. The Indian driver will take the next step in his NASCAR career after gaining some valuable experience in six races with the Austrian team last year.
After testing the Euro NASCAR car during the most recent NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Drivers Recruitment days at Franciacorta, Austrian driver Alina Loibnegger will make her NASCAR debut in the ELITE Club Division with the ambition to quickly climb up the NWES ranks.
The 2019 NWES season will kick off in Valencia, Spain on April 13-14 with the popular Valencia NASCAR Fest.
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series was founded in 2008 and established the NASCAR official European Series in January 2012 thanks to a long-term partnership signed with NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), Team FJ, a Motorsports company located in Blois, France, and Whelen Engineering as title sponsor of the Series.The season is made up of 24 races, equally split among ELITE 1 and ELITE 2 divisions, on the best European tracks. Euro NASCAR introduced a stunning innovation on July 7-8, 2012 by organizing the first ever NASCAR race on an oval track in Europe on a half-mile speedway built in the downtown of Tours (France). With four races in two days, these 400 HP V8 monsters provide pure racing action and thrilling bumper-to-bumper battles as well as a lot of family fun around the track! In the pure NASCAR tradition, race fans can get closer to the action than ever and feel the unique in Europe paddock atmosphere thanks to drivers, teams and cars always available for the spectators.The series attracts drivers from all over the world, all willing to fight on track for the win and take the first step towards becoming a NASCAR star in the U.S.