NASCAR Whelen Euro Series to race on ice in 2023
In recent years, the NASCAR-approved car racing series has ventured to new unique event venues. Los Angeles Memorial Arena held the inaugural Busch Light Clash season exhibition race on a quarter-mile bull run inside the legendary stadium in February and is scheduled to take place again in February next year. In addition, in 2023, the Cup Series is expected to run an entry round a street in Chicago. Next week, NASCAR’s Europe-based championship will put their riders on a whole new racing surface for classic racing: Ice.
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series revealed Calendar 2023 today. Two non-championship races will result in six payoffs of the season. An all-star race will be held at the Automotodrom Grobnik in Croatia on an unspecified date. The other no-scoring race will be the opening match in early March in Rovaniemi, Finland. However, there is no track in Rovaniemi.
The event in Rovaniemi will take place on top of a frozen lake. There has never been a NASCAR-approved race on ice. Rovaniemi annually organizes the Arctic Lapland Rally. The 56-year-old iconic event has been held twice in 2021. The first was a traditional rally and the second was an alternate round of the World Rally Championship to make up for the Swedish Rally. Canceled. That was the only time the Arctic Rally was a WRC round. Even so, Lapland attracts the best drivers in the country. Six World Rally champions won the event. F1 drivers Mika Häkkinen, Kimi Räikkönen and Valtteri Bottas competed at the Arctic Rally.
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The NASCAR Euro Series prepared for this event with an ice test earlier this year in Val Thorens, France. The series tested specially designed studded tires that will see action in Finland. Jerome Galpin, President and CEO of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, was at the helm during the test. Then he said:
“It’s fun! Honestly, we didn’t expect this first test on ice to go so well. The EuroNASCAR car has a great balance, so it is easy to swerve on the ice. It is perhaps one of the most versatile race cars ever built, able to race on any track and on any surface, in any condition. The level of performance is also quite impressive: with just one day of testing, we were able to set one of the fastest times on the track for a rear-wheel drive vehicle.”
Honestly, I can’t wait to see the stock cars bang and slam on the ice next March! NASCAR Whelen Euro Series visits Rovaniemi, Finland on March 4-52023. And yes, streaming series its races live on YouTube.