January 16, 2014 — Getty Images photo — MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Max Papis Racing is proud to announce its presence in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, fielding the No. 99 racecar for the 2014 season.
Italian native Max Papis has a personal connection with the up-and-coming European drivers, “I am extremely proud of this new adventure and I will work in a humble, determined, and efficient way to create a platform to give opportunities to people who have a dream like the one that I had of racing in the United States but didn’t know how to get there from Italy.”
Kevin Gilardoni will drive the No. 99 racecar in the Elite division. The 21-year old Italian driver has competed in the Eurocup Megane Trophy and Formula Renault 2.0 series, showing great talent and potential with multiple wins, pole positions, and podium finishes in the past three seasons.
“I am looking forward to having a young and upcoming talent like Kevin Gilardoni in the Elite Series,” said Papis. “He is a self-motivated young man and I am looking forward to giving him the tools he needs to prove his ability in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and selected late model races in the United States, creating a platform between racing in the United States and Europe.”
“It is a great pleasure for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Organization to welcome Max Papis and the Max Papis Racing team. From his achievements, Max is clearly a racing legend but also the only European driver who succeed in having a racing career in NASCAR,” said Team FJ General Manager, Jerome Galpin. “From its beginning in 2009, the series improved a lot and especially in building this strong link with the USA and NASCAR. The involvement of Max Papis and his U.S. based team, with its perfect knowledge of the U.S. NASCAR way of racing, is the best proof of the strength of this link and of the international dimension of our series. Benvenuti al Max Papis Racing!”
“It is great to see a successful global racer like Max Papis become an owner in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series,” said Joe Balash, NASCAR’s International Competition Liaison. “Max understands what it takes to reach the highest levels of NASCAR racing and is perfectly positioned to share that knowledge by having a team compete in the series. His international racing experience will benefit everyone.”
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will begin its third season under the NASCAR banner with the season opener April 12-13 at Valencia in Spain. The six race-weekend schedule also includes stops at England’s Brands Hatch, Germany’s Nürburgring and the championship weekend at France’s famed LeMans. In addition, the series competes on the first purpose-built oval for stock cars in Europe, Tours Speedway in France.